Makhubo denies that EOH exec sent him emails because he knew he'd comply
Joburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo said that it was not embarrassing that EOH executive, Patrick Makhubedu, sent him emails, including a tender proposal and a letter drafted by Makhubedu appointing his company to do work for the city.
JOHANNESBURG - Joburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo has denied that the reason EOH executive, Patrick Makhubedu, sent him improper emails about city contracts was that he knew that he would do his bidding.
Makhubo said that he never even asked Makhubedu about the emails because he was busy, not because he was not surprised by them.
The state capture commission said that Makhubo, as African National Congress (ANC) Greater Johannesburg treasurer, sent countless requests for funding to EOH and the donations coincided with contracts for that company and EOH recorded the donations to the party as cost of sales.
"You don't think it was embarrassing that Mr Makhubedu was corresponding directly with you?" evidence leader Advocate Matthew Chaskalson asked.
"No, it's not embarrassing because I had nothing to do with it," Makhubo responded.
Makhubo said that it was not embarrassing that Makhubedu sent him emails, including a tender proposal and a letter drafted by Makhubedu appointing his company to do work for the city.
"You knew why they were sent to you to call him to account because you knew what his answer would be, but you knew," inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo pressed.
"When you are sent a barrage of a whole lot of things, you just relegate and deal with things that are important," Makhubo said.
The commission asked Makhubo why he did not find the communication problematic especially from a person who paid hundreds of thousands to his company Molelwane, often to assist with cash flow.
"I think you're linking things that don't link. You are making links on things that have no causality," Makhubo said.
Makhubo said that he never asked Makhubedu about the emails and he did not do anything for him following the emails.
Earlier, Makhubo said that it was a coincidence that EOH director Ebrahim Laher told his colleagues that he would talk to him to resolve grievances with the City of Joburg.
Makhubo said that he had already planned to talk to Laher about a donation for the African National Congress (ANC) when their meeting happened.
The state capture commission said that EOH executives sent emails of proposals and a draft letter of award for a contract and sent it to Makhubo.
The commission read an internal email in which Laher told EOH colleagues that he would talk to Makhubo.
"'CoJ, I'm very concerned about the city allowing people to re-price, it seems to be a way to catch us out on scope. We need to be careful here. Actions, I will meet with Geoff.' Did you meet with him in February 2016?" evidence leader Advocate Matthew Chaskalson asked.
"I don't remember the date but we did have lunch with Ebrahim," Makhubo said.