E28m jet agent accuses Majozi of lying
MBABANE – Professor Frans Whelpton, the agent enlisted by government to recover the E28m deposit for His Majesty King Mswati III’s Bombardier jet, has accused Finance Minister Majozi Sithole of lying about his alleged disappearance.
On March 15, 2012, Sithole told Parliament that the South African consultant, after recovering the money, had changed his contact numbers and was difficult to trace.
This was after the minister had been asked by parliamentarians to give an update on the recovery of the E28m which government had already deposited before plans to purchase a E500m airplane for His Majesty King Mswati III were abandoned subsequent to Parliament voting against the move.
The E28m had been deposited with Canadian multinational Bombardier Aerospace. Sithole informed Parliament that, before Whelpton disappeared, he had informed him that the E28m had ‘multiplied to E300m’.
On Friday, South Africa’s reputable weekly publication the Mail & Guardian reported that it had managed to track down Whelpton in ‘just two weeks’.
The M&G said it had visited Whel-pton’s ‘heavily-protected’ Pretoria residence on Ezra Road, Murrayfield and left written questions in his mailbox when no one answered the intercom.
The newspaper said it also established Whelpton’s cellphone number and, at the same time, pinned down the address of the offices of his lawyers at Lady Brooks Building, 12th Street, Menlo Park, Pretoria.
Whelpton is said to have responded to questions from the M&G through his lawyers Roestoff and Kruse. "On his ‘disappearance’, Whelpton said Sithole’s allegation was ‘not true and was mischievous, to say the least’. He said he still went to Swaziland regularly and had been residing at the same address for the past 30 years," the M&G reported.
Efforts to get a comment from the Finance minister were unsuccessful as he did not answer his mobile phone, nor did he respond to questions sent via text message.
The M&G also failed to get Sithole for comment.
On the other hand, Whelpton went on to deny local media reports quoting him saying he had received assurances from Dafin (the London based intermediary company) that the E28m would be transferred to his lawyer’s account to be properly managed and controlled.
"Through Roestoff and Kruse, Whelpton responded to the M&G’s questions by vehemently denying the Swazi media reports, saying ‘they should not be trusted because they are not based on truth’," reported the M&G.
The lawyers are said to have added: "Our instructions are that these publications (by the Swazi media) and allegations are part of concerted efforts by certain organisations to discredit the King and Government of Swaziland."
While the issue of the E28m remains unresolved, the King now owns a different private jet (a MacDonnell Douglas MD-87; not a Bombardier), which, according to government, was given to the monarch by the kingdom’s ‘development partners’, who elected to remain anonymous, as a gift.
Somebody needs to rein-in Sithole to explain the lies he was paddling before Parliament. He needs to be made to account for the deception, and explain why a vote of no confidence should not be passed on him. The man is hiding something about the money, and that cannot be allowed to die down. Parliament should leave no stone unturned. Where is the PAC that has been going to RSA to investigate cattle, surely they should take interest in pursuing recovery of E28m of state funds missappropriated. Sen Thuli Dladla on her part should prove that her overzealousness in trying to combat corruption is not a personal vendatta against certain people but in the line of duty. Thank you Times, and for PAC there is the address for Whepton, take Majozi with and bring us the cash!
May 14, 2012, 9:25 AM, Burns Dlamini (Lobhoncela) (Burnspolitics@gmail.com)
Ulihlazo Minister Sithole.Thats all I can say maSwati lamahle. What was the motive behind him(Majozi) telling lies to his own colleagues. God have mercy.
May 14, 2012, 9:25 AM, Chief Mankuntuluza
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