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Popo Molefe: 'fight back' campaign by those unseated by state capture revelations

Jul 30 2019 21:31
Compiled by Carin Smith

There is a broader "fight back" campaign underway by those who have been unseated by revelations of state capture at the Zondo Commission into state capture, Transnet chair Popo Molefe said in a statement issued on Tuesday evening.

He emphasised that there is no conflict of interest in a legal firm assisting with forensic investigations at Transnet also sponsoring a golf day run by the Popo Molefe Foundation.

According to Molefe, Transnet has been made aware of what he calls "a smear campaign" in this regard. In Molefe's view, this is an attempt to discredit the ongoing clean-up of corrupt activities at the state-owned company.

"The smear campaign hinges on a supposed conflict of interest with the legal firm that is assisting with forensic investigations, prosecutions and recovery of monies," said Molefe.

"The firm, MNS, is one of many corporates that sponsored a golf day run by the Popo Molefe Foundation to raise funds for disadvantaged young South Africans."

Molefe pointed out that work done by MNS formed the basis for four weeks of disclosures at the Zondo Commission.

According to Molefe, MNS publicly declared its support for the event and announced it in line with its corporate social investment programme. Its support is listed on the Popo Molefe Foundation's website, along with other supporters. He also pointed out that MNS appointed by Transnet in 2017, while he was appoiinted as chair of the SOE only a year later.

"Those behind the smear campaign have also tried to suggest that the board is directly involved in managing the MNS contract, whereas it is a matter of record that the legal team’s work, invoicing and payment is handled by Transnet management," said Molefe.

He added that Transnet also puts on record that it has no involvement in the affairs of the Popo Molefe Foundation and that he has briefed the board of its existence.

"The foundation is above board, has been declared as required, and there are no conflicts in its operation. The foundation has been doing charitable work for more than 20 years, during which a lot of young people acquired access to education they would otherwise have been denied. It is registered with the Department of Social Development and its finances are audited on an annual basis," said Molefe.

"These attempts to smear my character follow a similar pattern to the one pursued when I was chair of PRASA – all of which turned out to have no substance and did nothing to deter me from completing a massive clean-out of corrupt activity."

Molefe warned that, should any allegations on which the "smear campaign" is based be published, it will result in legal action being taken.

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