DBSA’s strange treatment of the allegations of corruption regarding the Poseidon water project and its funding
Mr Patrick K Dlamini
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
Development Bank of Southern Africa
PO Box 1234
Dear Mr Dlamini
Development Bank of Southern Africa’s strange treatment of the allegations of corruption regarding the Poseidon water project and its funding
1. I respond to your letter of 10 July 2020, which the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) Company Secretary, Ms Bathobile Sowazi, sent at 22:57 on a Friday. Looking back at other emails, after hours correspondence seems to be the norm at the DBSA and one can but speculate as to the reasons why.
2. In all your letters to me regarding the Poseidon water project you sound defensive and blustering regarding the DBSA’s handling of this funding deal. Why would you cover your wickets with such excessive vigour and choose to cast aspersions on my bona fides?
3. You stated that I have “…publicly disclosed confidential information and documents belonging to the DBSA’s clients…”, what I interpret this to mean is that the information at my disposal is true and accurate. You are, in fact, right to be worried that the DBSA’s credibility might be undermined, as it, and/or some of its leadership, are seemingly engaged in activities they do not want exposed.
4. It is interesting that you decided to pre-empt President Ramaphosa’s response to my request for an investigation of the Poseidon deal. Now that you have positioned yourself as the president of this country, will you please tell the nation how the following people, as per your below document, are involved in the Poseidon transaction and how they directly and/or indirectly benefit from this deal.
5. This list of politically exposed persons (PEPs) in Poseidon’s group structure is a veritable Who’s Who of directors of public owned entities. It raises questions about the comprehensiveness and effectiveness of the DBSA’s due diligence processes in terms of corporate governance as defined in the Companies Act, No. 71 of 2008 and its 2011 amendment, the Public Finance Management Act, No. 1 of 1999 and the fourth revision of the King Report on Corporate Governance.
6. Item number 4 of the above document (in the picture), refers to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) directors who were identified as PEPs in this deal by virtue of being board members of a state-owned entity. Who exactly are these PIC board members your document refers to i.e. the board members at the time of the submission of the application or those at the time of its approval? Either way it would be helpful if you could explain their involvement in this private, for-profit matter and whether the DBSA condones this kind of association.
7. It is confounding that your very own document states that Dr Renosi Mokate is a PEP by virtue of her being a trustee of the Harith Holdings Employee Trust and the board chairperson of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), yet she made a bare denial of any connection to Poseidon in her submission to the court in her defamation case against me and the United Democratic Movement. So, the questions the public and/or a judge might ask you are: Who added her name to this document, and why? Also, from where did you obtain this information?
8. Ultimately you are to be thanked for confirming the veracity of the above information. We will however ask those individuals (including the GEPF chairperson) who ran to court, to explain why their names appear on a DBSA document pertaining to the Crede Power and Infrastructure Investments/Poseidon funding application.
9. Our letter to the President is clear in terms of what we want to be investigated. Part of that would be that you seemingly misled the DBSA’s board by allegedly recommending that this project be funded despite the above information being at your disposal. Worse still is that some of these PEPs have been fingered in the Commission of inquiry into allegations of impropriety regarding the Public Investment Corporation. Why are you promoting and protecting these people?
10. You have placed on record that “On or about June 2019 the DBSA received an application from Crede Power and Infrastructure Investments…”. Mr Jabu Moleketi left as DBSA Chairperson in December 2018. What these two facts mean is that the Crede Power and Infrastructure Investments/Poseidon funding application was submitted to the DBSA within six months of his having left the DBSA, which I understand is in contravention of the DBSA’s twelve month “cooling off” period for directors who have left the Bank. The public might ask you whether these facts were disclosed to the Board when it considered and approved the funding application?
11. Your artless attempt to threaten me with “the law” where it pertains to whistleblowing, begs the question: “Is it not nice and convenient that the DBSA decision-makers, in the Poseidon water project deal, can hide behind this country’s laws?” This might exactly be the reason why there was no other way of exposing the alleged corruption in the way that we have.
12. The DBSA’s refusal of my Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 request, because of technicalities, is utter drivel. You and Ms Kim Sanderson (DBSA Deputy Information Officer) who wrote to me, know exactly to which deal I was referring and what information I had asked for. Such seemingly spiteful delaying tactics could be interpreted as the DBSA playing for time to “cook the books”. If I were in your boots, I would be preparing to explain this mess in court.
13. Your 10 July 2020 letter smacks of a panicked response to being confronted by facts that are not to your and your colleagues’ liking, least of all to the liking of the PEPs involved in Poseidon.
14. I walk away from all your correspondence, thus far, with a very repulsive taste in my mouth and the perturbing feeling that you are not acting in the best interest of the people of this country.
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni
DBSA Chairperson, Mr Enoch Godongwana
DBSA Company Secretary, Ms Bathobile Sowazi
DBSA Deputy Information Officer, Ms Kim Sanderson
Mabuza Attorneys, Attorney Eric Mabuza