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Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo denies there was a conflict of interest when he pocketed R35m from a contract that Regiments Capital had with the municipality. Makhubo’s dealings with Regiments, a management consulting agency that was used by the Guptas to broker deals with state enterprises, was laid bare at the Zondo commission last week. Evidence shows Makhubo’s company, Molelwane Consulting pocketed 10% in commission fees from a contract to manage the metro’s sinking fund. After becoming the MMC for finance, Makhubo went one step further by approving a five-year contract with Regiments. He was then rewarded with an R800 000 cash payment fee. – Bernice Maune.
The former ANC treasurer gave testimony on allegations he continued to do business with the state even after he joined the City of Joburg as the head of the finance committee. Makhubo shared three key takeaways about his interests and business dealings.
1. Geoff Makhubo’s resignation was not processed even though he gave up his interest as a director
Presented with a report by investigative media outlet Amabhungane, in which Makhubo said he was no longer a director of Molelwane, he backtracked on this at the commission. Makhubo said he had submitted his resignation papers to his lawyers but he had failed to follow up if they were processed.
2. Molelwane received R35m in payments from Regiments Capital
Makhubo agreed his company had received millions from Regiments for management fees. However, he denied being given a kickback for a contract he awarded to Regiments even though his bank statements showed an R800 000 deposit, days after the deal was concluded.
3. Geoff Makhubo says he wanted to shut Molelwane down but never got around to it.
“I wanted to shut it down and keep it dormant. I never saw myself doing what I’m doing now. I was central to the business. When the contract ended, we thought we would diversify (our interests). I wanted to get value for what I worked for,” said Makhubo. He also couldn’t remember what a R300 000 payment was used for. When questioned about a payment of R200 000, Makhubo confirmed he signed the cheques off. “There were various things to be done depending on the date. When volunteers ask for help…but it would assist a whole lot of people,” he said about withdrawing large sums of money from his business account.
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Watch Geoff Makhubo’s testimony at the Zondo commission on 27 November.
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