Despite the continued line of questioning on former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) CEO Lucky Montana’s property transactions, the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture has so far not been unable to link him to the alleged theft of R36 million.
It has been alleged that Montana used R36 million of Prasa’s money to purchase of several homes in Gauteng.
In one of his many transactions, Montana sold a property for R6.8 million, with the proceeds of the sale not being paid directly to his account, the commission heard on Tuesday morning.
In his testimony last year, commission investigator Clint Oellermann told Zondo how Montana would view properties, meet estate agents, sign an offer to buy and then request the offer to purchase be changed to the name of Precise Trade, owned by lawyer and businessman Riaan van der Walt.
Montana told commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo how he would give instructions to Van der Walt on how to split the proceeds of the property sale, with his bank account not reflecting any money deposited.
Said Montana: “I confirm selling a property to Mr Van der Walt for R6.8 million and he paid me. From the proceeds, I instructed him to use R2 million to settle a bond in Parkwood, R2 million paid to the Hurlingham home and R2.2 million to the Waterkloof property.
“You won’t see the R6.8 million in my bank account. I agree with the chair that part of the R6.8 million may have gone into my account, but the bulk was paid to different entities.
“Precise Trade was his (Van der Walt’s) company and I was not part of it, but had a joint venture created to do business.”
No statement required
Given proceeds of the property sale not reflected in Montana’s bank transactions, Zondo said it would be unnecessary to see Montana’s bank statements.
“I don’t see what difference it would make to see Mr Montana’s bank statements. He does not deny the payments were made on his instructions,” Zondo said.
Montana replied: “When the bank statements are ready, I can also come in my pyjamas to answer questions at the commission.”
Soni said he was intrigued that the sale agreement did not require Montana to make renovations to the property.
“You sell a house for R6.8 million and agree six weeks after the sale to do improvements to the house – not required by the sale agreement. I am trying to check your state of mind at the time,” Soni said
Montana replied: “It should not intrigue anyone – our relationship was deeper than that. If Van der Walt wanted certain things to be done, it would be at his own cost.
“The nature of the relationship was dynamic. This should not intrigue anyone. Mr Soni’s real intention was started with the R36 million allegation – a desperate attempt to link all kinds of things.
“It is a Paul O’Sullivan story. When you put money into a property you increase the value. I have bought a property that was a complete wreck and renovated it.”
The testimony continues.