Intaka investigation moves to Limpopo

Investigations into the allegedly corrupt dealings of Intaka Holdings have moved to Limpopo, where the company had contracts with the provincial health department to supply oxygen­ generators to hospitals.

The Mail & Guardian has established that at least two oxygen generators were sold to hospitals in the province in 2007. But, almost three years on, these have had to be replaced with new equipment from Intaka’s competitor, Afrox.

Intaka’s point-man in Limpopo was Danile Deon Madyo, who was arrested with businessman Gaston Savoi and John Block, the Northern Cape finance minister, and charged with corruption and fraud last week. They were released on bail after appearing in the Kimberley District Magistrate’s Court and are due to appear again in the Northern Cape High Court in March next year.

The Hawks would not officially confirm the investigation but two sources — one in the Northern Cape, the other in Limpopo — said that the elite investigating unit was scrutinising Madyo’s dealings in Limpopo.

Madyo, after resigning as head of the Northern Cape health department, moved to Limpopo, where he joined a health supplies company, which entered into a partnership with Intaka and promoted its equipment. Madyo’s own company, Mapquest Trading, was used to market Intaka products in the province, according to the draft charge sheet.

Trevor White, a PricewaterhouseCoopers investigator, said in an affidavit presented to the court that he had examined a letter from Intaka to Madyo on November 21 2006, concerning a request by the company to make a presentation about its services.

White said Madyo and Mapquest entered into an agency agreement on November 30 2006 to promote, market and sell Oxyntaka and Wataka in the North West and Limpopo provinces.

Oxygen generators
White also found a Mapquest tax invoice, dated October 1 2007, for the amount of R336 140,91, that refers to the “marketing and product promotion of Wataka and Oxyntaka Limpopo”. The actual cost of the oxygen generators could not be established.

In March 2008 Intaka sent another letter to Madyo referring to the November agency agreement. The company advised him that the agreement had expired and thanked him for trying to procure the necessary sales.

Attempts to contact Madyo this week were unsuccessful — there was no response to a message left for him with a woman associate.

Limpopo sources in government, business and the hospitals involved confirmed this week that Intaka had supplied two oxygen generators to the Dilokeng and Jane Furse Hospitals but they had “never worked properly”.

“They ended up buying from Afrox because the hospitals could not afford to go without it. There is now an audit query about this matter,” said a source familiar with the management of the department’s supply chain.

Questions sent to the Limpopo health department were answered on Thursday after the departmental spokesperson, Roletta Levelo, was suddenly removed from her position on Wednesday.

‘No such thing’
According to Cecil Motsepe, the communications manager, “there is no such thing as an oxygen generator … There is no way we could’ve purchased oxygen generators because they don’t exist.”

This contradicts information received by the M&G from senior sources at both hospitals, but they refused to be named for fear of flouting regulations.

Aggrey Morake, the head of the department, said that Afrox did not get the contract for oxygen supply in 2007 because of a problem with routes. “The hospitals were not on the delivery route of Afrox and therefore they couldn’t serve us. Now their routes have changed and that’s why we reverted to them.”

He said he did not know of any audit regarding the acquisition of the generators.

Siviko Mabunda, the secretary of the Forum of Limpopo Entrepreneurs, said his association was also concerned about the sales of Intaka equipment and Madyo’s marketing role. The forum welcomed the investigation into the purchases.

Businessman’s limited-edition jet must go
First the state attached his sleek Maserati, his Ferrari and luxury Constantia properties. Now the asset forfeiture unit (AFU) has ordered the urgent disposal of Gaston Savoi’s prized Learjet, writes Glynnis Underhill.

The Cape Town-based businessman is accused of racketeering, graft and bribery.

The limited-edition Bombardier 60SE Learjet will go under the hammer on December 10 at Cape Town International Airport. Savoi’s company, Intaka Holdings, is accused of paying money to John Block, the Northern Cape ANC provincial leader, to influence the awarding of massive contracts to supply water purification plants.

Savoi and nine others appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court last week in connection with tender fraud. He faces similar charges in KwaZulu-Natal. Other assets of Uruguayan-born Savoi cannot be sold unless he is convicted, his attorney, George van Niekerk, said this week.

“However, the plane was financed by Rand Merchant Bank and my client owes them money, so we have no objections to the sale,” said van Niekerk. “The Learjet is a big expense and the family had discussed disposing of it.”

The jet is expected to fetch between R30-million to R40-million and local and international buyers have expressed interest.

Savoi, the sole owner of the 2006 model aircraft, had a permanent pilot, now retrenched, and a freelance pilot on standby for trips.

“My client has been abroad 39 times since the police first approached him, so he was not considered a flight risk,” said Van Niekerk.

Meanwhile, Hein Hattingh, a court-appointed curator, is investigating links between Savoi and Swanton Enterprise Corporation, registered in the British Virgin Islands.

The AFU has attached at least R200-million of assets in connection with the case in dawn raids in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

The assets of Sipho Shabalala, an ANC benefactor and the Ithala Bank chief executive, and Block have also been attached.

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Mandy Rossouw
Guest Author
Yolandi Groenewald
Yolandi Groenewald
Yolandi Groenewald is a South African environmental reporter, particularly experienced in the investigative field. After 10 years at the Mail & Guardian, she signed on with City Press in 2011. Her investigative environmental features have been recognised with numerous national journalism awards. Her coverage revolves around climate change politics, land reform, polluting mines, and environmental health. The world’s journey to find a deal to address climate change has shaped her career to a great degree. Yolandi attended her first climate change conference in Montreal in 2005. In the last decade, she has been present at seven of the COP’s, including the all-important COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009. South Africa’s own addiction to coal in the midst of these talks has featured prominently in her reports.

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