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Vivien Natasen clarifies the R10m from SA Express exec at state capture inquiry

Owner of Neo solutions Vivien Natasen has told the state capture inquiry that his company received R10 million from Brian van Wyk for a joint business venture in 2015.

FILE: A screengrab shows the owner of NEO Solutions' Vivien Natasen at the state capture inquiry on 12 July 2019. Picture: SABCDigitalNews/Youtube.

JOHANNESBURG - A businessman whose company received millions of rand through suspicious payments from South African Express Airways has told the state capture inquiry he has returned the money.

Vivien Natasen, the sole director of Neo Solutions, told the inquiry that he did not benefit from the money which belonged to former SA Express commercial manager Brian Van Wyk.

He said he was merely safekeeping the R10 million for Van Wyk as he had been asked to because the SA Express executive was afraid it would show up in a lifestyle audit.

Neo Solutions then repaid R9.3 million to Batsamai Investments which is owned by Sipho Phiri, who is also Van Wyk’s partner.

Natasen said there was nothing untoward about the transaction.

But deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo wanted to know why he agreed to this.

Natasen said he wasn't aware of Van Wyk's dodgy dealings when he agreed to keep the money for him.

The businessman then told the state capture inquiry that he had no reason to suspect that money may have been obtained illegally.

“The guy was my friend. He gave me the undertaking that there was nothing untoward about the funds. That was his undertaking.”

WATCH: State capture proceedings on 12 July 2019