JOHANNESBURG – The director of a company that stood to earn millions from a South African Airways (SAA) contract on Thursday admitted that they failed to disclose relationships with some key executives at the state-owned airline.
This was revealed by businessman Daniel Mahlangu at the Zondo Commission, which is probing allegations of state capture.
Mahlangu’s firm, BNP Capital, was contracted by SAA to provide transaction advisory services while the airline sought to secure a R15 billion loan in 2015.
Mahlangu said the company’s dealings with SAA were done through his business partner Masotsha Mngadi who was then serving as former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni’s personal adviser. BNP Capital partnered with Inline Trading, an entity that was owned by Mngadi.
Mahlangu claimed he was not aware of this relationship at the time.
“Perhaps we could have asked that particular question, but in our engagement, we didn’t actually suspect anything. So, as I asked at that time, time was of the essence, we signed the document and moved on,” Mahlangu said.
BNP Capital stood to make over R200 million in the deal with SAA, but the agreement was scrapped after it emerged that proper tender processes were not followed.
It soon emerged that Inline Trading couldn’t produce any financials when SAA asked them to do so in their request for a proposal document.
Mahlangu said his company did not vet Mngadi’s entity, saying he wasn’t aware that Inline Trading had no financial records.
“The entity doesn’t have financials. It’s either the financials are not ready or there hasn’t been any activity for them to actually state any financials. Those are the assumptions that I’ve made,” he said.
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