Report: Matjila, Gupta associate swindled millions in Cosatu property deal

The details are revealed in an amaBhungane investigation published on Friday, which tracks the 2011 sale of Cosatu’s former headquarters and subsequent purchase of a new building.

FILE: Cosatu House. Reinart Toerien/EWN

PRETORIA - New evidence has emerged which shows how former Eskom acting chief executive Collin Matjila allegedly conspired with a close Gupta associate to swindle millions of rand from trade union federation Cosatu in a dodgy property deal.

The details are revealed in an amaBhungane investigation published on Friday, which tracks the 2011 sale of Cosatu’s former headquarters and subsequent purchase of a new building.

Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa - who has emerged as a central figure in numerous questionable deals exposed in the Gupta-leaks - played a lead role in the Cosatu deal.

The investigation by amaBhungane reveals how Matjila conspired with Essa to engineer two transactions - firstly the purchase of new Cosatu headquarters and then the sale of the federation's old building - both with the same businessman.

In 2011, Matjila was head of Cosatu’s investment arm Kopano ke Matla and was introduced by Essa to businessman Ebrahim Joosub.

Records show that Matjila facilitated the purchase of a building from Joosub for R50 million. Joosub had just months earlier bought the property for R33 million.

Matjila then arranged the sale of Cosatu’s old building to Joosub for R10 million, when the property was worth at least double that amount, at R20 million.

All the parties have denied wrongdoing.