It was not dirty money
Etienne Petersen Managing director, Life Esidimeni
In response to the article “R42m dirty money probe” (City Press, March 12 2017), we would like to correct misrepresentations and inaccurate points.
The article states that payment was made to Life Esidimeni and that Life Esidimeni owns the Witpoort Treatment Centre, a nonprofit organisation.
Life Esidimeni does not own the centre – it administers it on behalf of the centre’s shareholders. A nonprofit organisation does not have any shareholding, so a juristic entity such as Life Esidimeni cannot own it.
Due to the fact that it is its own juristic entity, the centre has its own bank account; and
The Witpoort Treatment Centre’s bank account is not owned by Life Esidimeni.
In terms of addressing the alleged suspect payments, note the following:
1. Due to a delay in the centre being registered as a supplier on the Gauteng government’s payment system, an agreement was reached that the Gauteng department of social development would pay amounts due to the centre (in terms of the service level agreement) into the accounts of two nongovernmental organisations that were already registered on the system. These two organisations – Sanca and A Re Ageng – would pay the amounts into the account of Witpoort Treatment Centre as per the agreement.
2. In terms of this agreement, Sanca and A Re Ageng agreed to facilitate the transfer of payments from the Gauteng department of social development to the centre through their bank accounts. The process entailed that the centre nominate the bank accounts of Sanca and A Re Ageng for the purposes of payment by the department.
3. The agreement was entered into transparently as an interim measure to ensure operations at the centre could be financed for services already delivered, with all interested parties fully aware of their obligations.
4. Nomination of an account for payment is a common and lawful practice, provided there is agreement between all the parties.