DBSA approval of Poseidon water project grant/loan: CEO Sandile Sokhela seems to be economical with the truth
Mr Enoch Godongwana
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Development Bank of Southern Africa
PO Box 1234
Dear Mr Godongwana
DBSA APPROVAL OF POSEIDON WATER PROJECT GRANT/LOAN: CEO SANDILE SOKHELA SEEMS TO BE ECONOMICAL WITH THE TRUTH
1. I write to your good office regarding a grant/loan application submitted to the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) by Poseidon Pty Ltd (‘Poseidon’).
2. According to the information at my disposal, the DBSA had on 26 March 2020 approved funding for Poseidon to the tune of R50 million to conduct feasibility studies, for some kind of water project/s, in South Africa and other Southern African countries. Another R300 million is apparently still to be disbursed for the implementation of Poseidon’s project.
3. In terms of the DBSA’s March approval, Poseidon’s shareholding is as follows:
4. As I understand it, Harith General Partners invested in Crede Power and Infrastructure Investments (‘Crede’) via a capitalisation of R25 million over a four-year period to fund continued operational and other costs. Harith invested in Crede with an objective to capacitate an emerging fund manager that would complement the activities of Harith as a fund manager to the Pan African Infrastructure Development Funds (PAIDF I and II). To date Crede has drawn down R12 million of these funds.
5. My information shows that the DBSA Compliance Unit undertook Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) checks on Poseidon’s shareholder and group companies and various directors were identified as PEPs by virtue of them being board members of various state-owned entities. Amongst others, the following is identified as a PEP:
• Mr Tshepo Mahloele who is a non-executive director in the Crede was identified as a PEP by virtue of him being a former board member of Telkom SA in 2008; his PEP status is inactive as of 2008. Mr Mahloele is the CEO of HGP and sits on Crede’s board.
6. As you are aware, I recently wrote to the President of the Republic (letter attached for your ease of reference) to register my concern over what seems to be another attempt to loot state resources, as had occurred at the Public Investment Corporation, but this time at your organisation, using Poseidon as a vehicle.
I had sourced some of my information from their websites, but I have since discovered that both Crede Capital Partners and Crede Power and Infrastructure Investments’ websites (https://credecapital.co.za/ and http://credepower.co.za/ respectively) have been discontinued/are no longer visible. Would one be wrong in surmising that someone is trying to cover their tracks?
7. In particular, during my initial search, Crede Power and Infrastructure Investments’ website proudly shared that Mr Tshepo Mahloele was its director, but I was recently confronted with a letter from Crede/Poseidon’s lawyers (also attached) categorically stating that Mr Mahloele has never been its director.
What is however extremely odd is that, Mr Mahloele himself, in his written submission on 15 April 2019, to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (‘Mpati Commission’) declared in Paragraph 3.3 that:
“In addition to the positions already referred to, I also serve on the boards of NOVO Energy, Anergi, Lanseria International Airport, Rainfin, 4 Africa Exchange, Crede Power & Infrastructure Investments and Dark Fibre Africa, amongst others.”
One is forced to ask whether Mr Mahloele had then lied to the Mpati Commission, or whether Mr Sandile Sokhela, Crede’s Chief Executive Officer, is lying now (or has lied in his grant/loan application to the DBSA). Someone is definitely lying, and one is worried that public entities, such as the DBSA, are doing business with people of this ilk.
8. I have instructed my attorney, Mr Eric T Mabuza, of Mabuza Attorneys, to submit a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to the DBSA to obtain the attending documentation of Poseidon’s DBSA loan/funding application e.g. the application itself, information on the DBSA’s due diligence, relevant minutes of DBSA meetings, contracts, and any other pertinent information.
I implore you to cooperate with our PAIA application, not only because it is to the DBSA’s advantage, but also because it is in the public’s interest that the truth comes to light.
9. Given that the DBSA board has already approved Poseidon’s grant/loan it might be advisable that you immediately suspend any disbursement/s to that company until the matter is satisfactorily addressed by the President and/or the courts.
I am at your disposal and look forward to engaging with you.
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa
Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni
PIC Chairperson, Dr Reuel Khoza