It was not dirty money

CityPress - - Voices -

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.

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