New incriminating evidence brought before the Windhoek High Court yesterday has revealed that former MTC board chairperson, Dirk Conradie, wanted to impose his long time friend, Sarah Damases on an advertising agency, DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi which was competing for a N$70 million tender in order for the two to benefit from it.
The agency’s co-director, Mark Bongers testified before the court and provided an audio recoding done at a meeting between him, his business partner, Kim Field, Conradie, Damases and unidentified persons, on the 12th of May 2012 at Conradie’s offices.
Bongers said he started smelling a rat and began realising that the tender was a dodgy one given that the rules of tendering do not require a company issuing a tender to meet with those participating.
Conradie can be heard saying that the N$70 mullion tender was “a big thing”: “This thing is big, it is the biggest single tender where a local company is involved,” he can be heard as saying.”
In the recording Conradie makes mention of three companies as having participated in the tender namely DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi, Advantage and Young Designers.
“When I looked at the analyses, they are too light it seems,” Conradie says of Advantage and Young Designers in the audio, “I really wanted to help them.”
He can be heard saying that the guys he wanted to give the tender could not deliver and thus had no option but to send Damases to DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi.
He queries Bongers on whether his company was locally registered, and had a BEE partner in bid go drive him into accepting the imposing of Damases.
“Do you have a black partner? Ja but do you have a black partner? That is my thing., that sort of partner, you will have to have a partner. You see, the thing is that the scale is very much against you. So I will have to sway the scale but I am not going to sway the scale for nothing, unfortunately. So Sara will have to get involved in the marketing industry,” says Conradie.
Conradie is heard telling Bongers that his BEE certificate meant nothing to him insisting that Damases had to be a part of his company as the only way they could get the tender.
“No I must tell you, I must tell you, because I want to see my people getting a slice of that cake, Okay. And that is the transformation I am brining at MTC. And I think this is a sizeable tender that you can consider, and we have got to sort this out,” says Conradie in the recording.
He also can be heard promising Bongers another offer two years later if “you are well behaved” and that he would make sure that his term as board chairperson would be extended after three years.
In his testimony before the court, Bongers said he had never participated in such a dodgy tender process before and he, together with his business partner sought the advice of their lawyer for a way-forward after which a decision was taken to report the matter to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
“I believe that we were going through an illegal tender process. We would have been disqualified having met with the (MTC) board and this meeting had nothing to do with any normal tender process,” he said before court.
In his defense, Conradie’s lawyer said that the recording was an invasion of privacy and violated that right as well as that of dignity, Article 8 (2) (b).
Meanwhile the court proceedings have been postponed to the 22nd of May 2018 and will commence at 10hr00.