Mosebenzi Zwane’s state capture testimony raises more questions than answers

Former Free State Human Settlements MEC Mosebenzi Zwane is back at the commission to testify about a R1 billion low-cost housing project.

A screengrab of former Cabinet minister and former Free State Housing MEC Mosebenzi Zwane appearing at the state capture inquiry in Johannesburg on 25 September 2020. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission has heard that former Free State Human Settlements MEC Mosebenzi Zwane’s evidence is raising more questions than answers.

Zwane is back at the commission to testify about the R1 billion low-cost housing project.

He is testifying about the deviation from the qualified bidders.

Zwane conceded that more than 300 contractors expressed interest in the housing project, but only 100 were allowed to bid.

He said he didn’t instruct officials to abandon the open tender process, but he wanted women, youth and the disabled to be included.

These and other answers didn’t go unnoticed by Advocate Paul Pretorius.

“Well Mr Zwane, I’m afraid the manner in which you’ve answered these questions raises even more questions, and we’re still far from clarity, so let me attempt to question you in a way that does provide clarity.”

Pretorius said the database which Zwane said the tender process relied on didn’t exist when Zwane went to the provincial exco to approve the list of bidders for the project.

WATCH: Mosebenzi Zwane testifies at state capture inquiry

Earlier Zwane confirmed that the province decided to use an advance payment system after meeting with contractors in Welkom.

The project paid R600 million to suppliers to buy building materials in violation of the Municipal Finance Management Act that stipulates that payment can only be made after work is done .

Zwane said he signed a document approving the scheme because it was required for official reasons.

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