The paper that the journalist works for said attempts were made by suspended Eskom boss Matshela Koko to ask him to drop a story with a R500k bribe.
Prominent South African journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika has denied being part of the people who took money flowing from Eskom corruption, saying the only incident he knows of is when suspended Eskom CEO Matshela Koko offered to take care of his needs with R500 000.
Wa Afrika’s name is amongst those of Eskom bosses Abram Masango and Peter Sebola as well as that of ANCYL leader Collen Maine who are mentioned in an affidavit by a former bodyguard of Eskom contracts manager France Hlakudi.
The affidavit says Hlakudi sent his bodyguard, Ntokozo Dubazana, to give bags of money to Masango, Sebola, Maine as well as the Sunday Times journalist.
The document was expected to be handed to the Eskom disciplinary committee where Eskom CEO Matshela Koko is appearing for misconduct a week ago but has apparently not been submitted.
Koko was suspended earlier this year and is facing six charges before the disciplinary committee for not declaring a conflict of interest concerning contracts worth approximately R1-billion which were awarded to Impulse International‚ a company of which his step-daughter‚ Koketso Choma‚ was a director and shareholder.
Hlakudi on the other hand is accused of earning R20 million in bribes for his role in making sure a company called Tubular Construction Projects received a tender at the Kusile power station in Delmas when he controlled procurement there.
The affidavit states that early this year Wa Afrika was driving a navy Mercedes Benz when he met Dubazana at a filling station in Sandton and Dubazana, who was allegedly sent by Hlakudi to give the bag of money to Wa Afrika, says that the Merc that Wa Afrika was driving had a registration plate “Ngoma GP”.
Dubazana in the document says Wa Afrika gave him his key to the car so he could put the money in there.
But Hlakudi himself dismissed the “fanciful” allegations made by his ex-bodyguard, saying Dubazana was being used by Koko to discredit Wa Afrika and divert attention from the disciplinary processes currently underway against Koko.
The esteemed investigative journalist told his bosses at the Sunday Times that he had an incident where the company that Koko’s daughter had stakes in tried to offer him R500 000.
He said the company CEO, Pragasen Pather, promised Wa Afrika that if he accepted the R500 000 bribe on the day he would give him another the next, which would total to R1 million.
— Max du Preez (@MaxduPreez) November 23, 2017
“It was after these efforts failed I was told he was being followed and that his life was under threat,” editor Bongani Siqoko said.
“After these efforts to throw Mzilikazi off the scent were thwarted, the next step is to try and discredit him through this affidavit,” he said.
Wa Afrika himself said: “I don’t know the incident this man is describing. I never met anyone at that place. I never gave my keys to anybody, it’s a security risk. No one has ever given me a bribe.
“As a matter of fact I refused a bag of money from Koko himself in the middle of the night. Why would I accept a bag of money in daylight?”
(edited by MLM)
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