Blackhead director denies influencing FS official to get R255m asbestos tender

Edwin Sodi on Tuesday concluded another appearance at the state capture commission of inquiry.

A YouTube screengrab of Edwin Sodi, a director of Blackhead Consulting, testifying before the state capture commission in Johannesburg on 29 September 2020.

JOHANNESBURG - Blackhead Consulting director Edwin Sodi has denied that his funding of a house for Free State HOD Nthimotse Mokhesi was intended to influence payments for a R255 million asbestos contract.

Sodi on Tuesday concluded another appearance at the state capture commission of inquiry.

The two gentlemen insist that the agreement was an investment.

Mokhesi was responsible for allocating Blackhead Consulting the R255 million contract for asbestos auditing and removal, without a supply chain process being adhered to.

The HOD of the Free State Housing Department entered into an agreement regarding the house with Sodi.

“The Auditor-General had already declared the contract invalid or irregular. Mr Mokhesi had to decide whether you should continue to receive payment, and it was in his discretion,” said the commission’s evidence leader, Advocate Paul Pretorius.

But Sodi denied that the agreement was to grease Mokhesi’s palms.

“In my view, it wasn’t necessarily up to Mr Mokhesi to decide whether he wants to pay us or not. We had a contract. For instance, if Mr Mokhesi left or resigned, whoever then came into that position would have had to honour the contract,” Sodi said.

“There’s certainly no influence at all that we could have tried to exert on Mr Mokhesi to pay us. He was obliged to pay in terms of the contract that we signed with the department,” he added.

The house is registered in Mokhesi’s family trust and Sodi does not appear on the title as an investor, and a clause in their agreement said it should be kept confidential.

WATCH: State capture commission proceedings

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