Minister of mineral resources and former ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, one of the politicians who has admitted to getting security upgrades from hugely controversial facilities management company Bosasa, invited media on a tour of his home in Boksburg on Saturday morning, in an attempt to explain why he accepted them and inspire the media to report on it more “accurately”.
News24 reports that according to Mantashe, he and his security team accepted the upgrades as they had no idea about corruption at the company. He also denies that Bosasa entirely footed the bill.
Papa Leshabane, who organised the upgrades, is director at Bosasa – now known as African Global Operations – and is also known to be a close friend of Mantashe’s daughter and her husband, Calvo Mawela, who is the CEO of Multichoice.
The tour revealed that some of the security upgrades installed by Bosasa, including recording equipment, spotlights and night-vision cameras, are still being used at the minister’s home.
According to Mantashe, the upgrades did not cost as much as the R300,000 figure cited at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.
He confirmed that the security upgrades were installed by Leshabane alongside Richard Le Roux.
Mantashe announced the tour on February 4.
“The Bosasa issue has opened up an avenue for people to attack me in person from different angles,” Mantashe wrote on Twitter.
“Others are disappointed for me to be associated with [the] Bosasa saga, which I apologise to. Others are ‘Fishers of Corrupt Men’, those will be disappointed. I have to clarify the issue,” Mantashe said.
“I’ve already written a letter which I will send to the State Capture Commission that states my intentions to give evidence to the commission. Before I do that, I want members of the media to visit my residences so that when I submit the evidence, they can put it into context.”
Mantashe said he would take “a number” of journalists on February 9 and 10 to his “sites/residences” in Boksburg, Cala and Elliot. “I want them to see these security upgrades that are much talked about in the media so that they may report accurately,” Mantashe said.
Mantashe did not deny having received upgrades but did say that he did not know who paid for them.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen accused him of lying about this, saying that in a televised interview given by Bosasa executive director Papa Leshabane confirming that the company did pay for security upgrades for Gwede Mantashe and that Mantashe had “called him for assistance”.
“Minister Mantashe categorically denied having any knowledge of who paid for the security upgrades at his house. He also, unequivocally, stated that the ANC had paid for these upgrades. This has been contradicted by Bosasa’s Leshabane,” said Steenhuisen.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedan)