Prop­erty shop­ping af­ter train ten­der

CityPress - - News - PIETER-LOUIS MY­BURGH and LEANNE GEORGE news@city­press.co.za

The man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the com­pany that won the con­tract to sup­ply the Pas­sen­ger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) with its con­tro­ver­sial Afro 4000 lo­co­mo­tives spent R27 mil­lion in cash on a flashy game farm and lodge in Lim­popo five days af­ter Prasa made its first pay­ment to his com­pany.

Auswell Mashaba, of Swifambo Rail Leas­ing, con­tin­ued his prop­erty shop­ping trip af­ter this and now owns R50 mil­lion’s worth.

Swifambo won a R3.5 bil­lion ten­der in 2012 to sup­ply new lo­co­mo­tives to Prasa. The leas­ing com­pany sub­con­tracted Span­ish com­pany Voss­loh Es­paña to sup­ply 70 lo­co­mo­tives to South Africa.

Swifambo Rail Leas­ing’s sis­ter com­pany, Swifambo Rail Hold­ings, re­ceived its first pay­ment of R460 mil­lion from Prasa in April 2013.

Prop­erty records show how Ze­ta­cor Six, a com­pany of which Mashaba is the only di­rec­tor, bought three pieces of land worth R27 mil­lion near Hoed­spruit in Lim­popo, five days af­ter his com­pany was paid. All three prop­er­ties were paid for in cash.

The lux­ury AM Lodge, which ac­cord­ing to its web­site charges guests up to R15 000 a night, is lo­cated on one of these prop­er­ties.

Clear Bub­bles Trad­ing 100, a com­pany of which Auswell and Joyce Mashaba are di­rec­tors, later paid R8.4 mil­lion in cash for a lux­ury guest­house in Waterk­loof, Pre­to­ria.

Avras­park, an­other com­pany Mashaba is the only di­rec­tor of, bought a fourth piece of land near Hoed­spruit worth R3 mil­lion in Fe­bru­ary 2014.

In April 2014, Mashaba bought a fifth piece of land through Ze­ta­cor Six worth R12 mil­lion.

AM Lodge’s web­site states: “AM Lodge is a five-star pri­vate lux­ury game lodge un­like any other... AM Lodge houses a five-star, world-class lux­ury spa that is cur­rently in the run­ning for World Lux­ury Spa Awards 2016.”

Mashaba did not re­spond to Rap­port’s ques­tions re­gard­ing his prop­er­ties.

His spokesper­son, Vuyo Mkhize, says his client will meet with Rap­port at a later stage to dis­cuss these is­sues.

Prasa’s con­tro­ver­sial train ten­der has been in the spot­light since July, when Rap­port re­vealed the Afro 4000 lo­co­mo­tives were too high for some sec­tions of the coun­try’s rail­ways.

Prasa sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion to the South Gaut­eng High Court in Jo­han­nes­burg at the end of last month to set aside the con­tract.

Prasa board chair­man Popo Molefe stated in the ap­pli­ca­tion that Swifambo Rail Leas­ing and Voss­loh Es­paña ap­peared to have main­tained a “fronting re­la­tion­ship” and that the spec­i­fi­ca­tions in the ten­der process un­law­fully ben­e­fited the Voss­loh Es­paña’s lo­co­mo­tives.

– Rap­port

PHOTO: MANDLA KHOZA

CASH PUR­CHASE

Auswell Mashaba’s lodge in Hoed­spruit, Lim­popo, which he pur­chased for R27m AT THE TOP Mpumalanga’s newly elected ANC lead­er­ship (from left): Vusi Shongwe (trea­surer), Vi­o­let Si­wela (deputy chair­per­son), David Mabuza (chair­per­son), Mandla Ndlovu (sec­re­tary) and Lindiwe Nt­shal­intshali (deputy sec­re­tary)

PHOTO: HER­MAN VER­WEY

LUX­URY The en­trance to the Pre­to­ria guest­house that Swifambo Rail Leas­ing boss Auswell Mashaba bought for R8.4m

FLASHY Auswell Mashaba

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