Durban businessman Thoshan Panday named in R47m World Cup scam
Controversial businessman Thoshan Panday, or companies linked to him, were paid R47m over 10 months for goods and services provided to the police during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
This was revealed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) auditor Trevor White in testimony before the Zondo Commission on Monday.
White compiled a 400-page forensic report that implicated Panday and several high-ranking SAPS officials in KwaZulu-Natal, including then provincial police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni and former crime intelligence member Col Dhanajaya Naidoo.
White alleged that Ngobeni helped the activities of Panday because the businessman bankrolled her husband's birthday party.
Panday allegedly inflated the price of goods and services provided for KwaZulu-Natal police during the World Cup, including accommodation and for goods such as sunscreen lotion.
Police supply chain management officials allegedly overlooked procurement rules to favour Panday's companies.
Panday would remove himself as a director of some and place family members there on the day he was to be awarded a contract by police, alleged White.
When three quotes were sourced for goods to be procured by police, as per the rules, all three companies would be linked to Panday.
Their quotes would "not be that different from each other", thus allegedly forcing police to award the contract to a company ultimately benefiting Panday.
“The overall allegation was that entities linked to Thoshan Panday, those registered in his name, his mother’s name, his wife’s name and brother-in-law's name, used to write quotes and this would enable them to quote significantly above market-related prices and make significant profits,” said White when asked why PwC was roped in to do the forensic investigation.
“Policemen in the supply chain management division assisted him is ensuring that he received this preferential treatment, and over the same period Panday’s entities purchased gifts for them.
“Effectively this report that I prepared summarises how procurement processes were circumvented by [police] in the processes and shows benefits that they received and benefit to former provincial commissioner Ngobeni husband’s birthday party, which was paid for by Mr Panday at the same time she was instructed to stop the cases.”
White said the sum paid was “R47m between November 2009 and August 2010”.
“On average they were billing three times the normal price for goods which could be anything from a generator to a sunscreen,” alleged White.
After the "separate" companies were awarded contracts and paid by the police, they would transfer the funds to a single company whose sole director was Panday.
"What he was doing is that he was using these entities to win the work and receive payment from the police and he was the ultimate beneficiary," alleged White.
In one instance, police paid R285,000 for goods which should have cost R93,000, said White.
When payments exceeded R200,000, which could not be approved by a contact within police, the invoice would be split into two separate transactions.