Former MTC board member Asser Ntinda said corruption accused lawyer Dirk Conradie spoke highly of advertising agency, DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi, during a 2012 board meeting in Portugal.
Testifying in the ongoing corruption trial of Conradie and his co-accused Sara Damases in the Windhoek High Court, Ntinda yesterday said a board meeting in Lisbon held in June 2012 discussed the lucrative N$60 million advertising tender of the telecommunications giant.
According to Ntinda, Conradie, who was the board chairperson of MTC at the time, told fellow directors that DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi had a black empowerment component as required by the tender specifications.
Conradie and Damases face three counts of contravening the Anti-Corruption Act for allegedly attempting to bribe businessman Mark Bongers and his wife and business partner Kim Fields with the massive advertising contract from MTC if they took Damases on board as a BEE partner. The trial is being heard before Judge Thomas Masuku.
Ntinda further told the court that Conradie assured them that he did a thorough investigation of DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi and that they had a BEE partner and complied with all specifications.
“I had no reason to doubt Conradie’s word as he was a well-known man and appointed by Cabinet as chairman of the MTC board,” Ntinda said.
He further said that he only learned of the new developments after Conradie was arrested and that he had no idea that he was to personally benefit from the award to DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi.
Bongers made a recording of a meeting he and Fields had with Conradie and Damases in the office of Conradie on June 12, 2012 and subsequently reported the alleged bribe to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
In the recording, Conradie can be heard asking Bongers and his business and life partner, Fields, whether they have a BEE partner and when Bongers answered in the negative, Conradie can be heard saying that DV8 Saatchi & Saatchi, the company of Bongers and Fields, is not the favourite to win the MTC advertising contract worth an estimated N$60 million at the time, but he could apparently change it in their favour.
The meeting apparently took place after Damases approached Bongers at his office with a “message from the MTC chairman”. According to Fields and Bongers, they only agreed to the meeting out of curiosity and because Damases had apparently introduced herself as an independent consultant for MTC.
Conradie allegedly told Bongers during the meeting that he would use his position as chair of the MTC board to ensure that the advertising agency owned by Bongers and Fields gets the telecommunication giant’s N$60 million advertising tender in turn for them taking Damases on board as a BEE partner.
They were arrested in June 2012 after Bongers and Fields availed a tape recording of Conradie, allegedly soliciting a bribe from them, to the ACC. Conradie and Damases are free on bail.
2020-02-14 07:34:48 13 days ago