No Valumax interview; Right of Reply on Nortje disclosing director’s Steinhoff link

By Alec Hogg

In an interview on Monday evening, Port of Gauteng developer Francois Nortje made strong allegations about corruption in Gauteng, connecting the ANC with property developer Valumax and former Steinhoff kingpins. The recording has already attracted ninety thousand views.

It disclosed how Francois Bekker, co-founder and executive director of property company Valumax -beneficiary of numerous ANC-run Gauteng government housing contracts – had attempted to facilitate a meeting for Nortje with Bekker’s “good friend”, former Steinhoff COO Danie van der Merwe.

The Valumax executive director proposed to Nortje that he fly to Stellenbosch to meet with Van der Merwe, whom he revealed to be the beneficial owner of a large chunk of Tambo Springs, a proposed inland port based on environmentally sensitive land. Nortje has used the courts to block the R5bn Tambo Springs development in which he maintains former Steinhoff directors are hiding assets .

Moreover, Nortje maintains the Tambo Springs Environmental Impact Assessment report was falsified by another former Steinhoff director and Markus Jooste confidante, Adv ‘Doep” du Plessis. Nortje is being opposed in court by the ANC-run Gauteng provincial government whom he maintains is using taxpayer money and ‘Stalingrad tactics’ to defend a no-win case.

Nortje said he joined the dots after reading the latest report in the News24’s Mashatile Unmasked investigation which this week disclosed how an executive director of Valumax, Teddy Greaver, admitted paying R900 000 into the business account of Gugu Nkosi, a former lover of Gauteng ANC boss and SA deputy president Paul Mashatile. Valumax also admitted to paying almost R30m directly to the ANC.

After the Nortje interview, we immediately approached Bekker to air Valumax’s side of the story. The company responded through crisis communications specialist Janine Hills who said her client “requests a discussion with you to put the record straight.” We immediately agreed to the interview, which was proposed for this afternoon.

To ensure fair play, early this morning Ms Hills was told that during the interview we would seek to clarify, in particular, why Mr Bekker “was so eager to engage numerous times and introduce Mr Nortje to Danie vd Merwe as the beneficial owner of Tambo Springs – plus the R28m given to the ANC and the payments to Gugu.” She responded by saying “most definitely those points will be covered.” She was thanked for facilitating the interview.

Later in the day, however, Valumax communicated that it will not be participating in an interview after all. Instead, Valumax issued a statement ‘approved by Francois Bekker and the CEO of Valumax Rocco de Kock’ with a covering note: “We truly believe the statement says it all, and an interview would not be necessary.”

The statement is republished in full below:

Given the request that the recording of his interview to be removed, we asked Nortje to confirm Valumax’s allegation that the information he provided was “factually incorrect” and whether he wanted to withdraw any of his statements.

He was bemused at the thrust of the statement, clarifying : “I never said that Valumax had an interest in Tambo Springs. What I said is that Francois Bekker wanted me to go to Stellenbosch. Why are they denying something that was not said – a Freudian slip?

Nortje added: “Does Francois not see the similarities between Steinhoff and Tambo Springs….dishonesty, not following the law, wanting to make as much money as possible, false reports……Some people do not realise how bad the Steinhoff disaster was. They (Valumax) treat the Steinhoff guys like they were just naughty and keep them as part of society. They should be social outcasts.

“Why is Danie van der Merwe no longer a director of the companies that own Tambo Springs? Is he hiding assets? For three years already I have been trying to make the public aware that the Steinhoff guys have hidden assets. I am a social activist who wants to make SA a place where we do not emigrate from, a place where the poor have a much better life.”

Read also: