News24 is reporting that the scandal around the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) now allegedly implicates the ANC in deals intended to benefit the ruling party’s coffers.
The controversial locomotives deal was reportedly mentioned in high court court papers by Prasa chairperson Popo Molefe on Friday in Pretoria. The locomotives in question, which were built by a Spanish company, had earlier been found to be unsuitable for South Africa’s rail network and the engineer who recommended their purchase turned out to have lied about his qualifications.
The website reports: “Molefe alleges under oath that the supplier of Prasa’s controversial Afro 4000 locomotives paid R80 million to ‘entities who were not creditors’ of the company after an Angolan businesswoman [Maria da Cruz Gomes] had insisted that 10% of the tender’s value be paid to the ANC.”
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The media has been tracking the story involving a self-confessed friend of President Jacob Zuma, businesswoman Maria da Cruz Gomes, since the start of the year.
Molefe’s replying affidavit was in response to an earlier answering affidavit by Swifambo Rail Leasing, which won the tender in 2012. Molefe is supporting Prasa’s bid to have the R3.5 billion contract given to Swifambo set aside.
According to the website, “Molefe’s affidavit contains startling allegations of large-scale corruption involving the ANC and Zuma’s ‘friend’.”
It reports that Molefe is claiming that “about R80 million of the proceeds from the Prasa locomotives contract was channeled to the ANC”.
The R80 million allegedly went to Similex, where Gomes is reportedly a director, and to a lawyer, George Sabelo, a business partner of one of Zuma’s sons.
The ANC told the website it was not aware of any payments from “the implicated company”, Similex.