Gupta-linked businessman Kuben Moodley needed deposit box contents ‘to pay man threatening to kill him’

The Bloemfontein businessman who disposed of the contents of safety deposit boxes worth R232m, which were kept by the state capture inquiry as part of an investigation, says he did so to pay a man he owed, who had threatened to kill him and his family.

Kuben Moodley and then president Jacob Zuma. The high court in Johannesburg is seeking a contempt of court order against Moodley for handling assets up to a value of R232m.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) investigative directorate is seeking a contempt of court order against Kubentheran Moodley, who took safety deposit boxes containing cash, precious stones and jewellery valued at R232m.

The safety deposit boxes, according to an affidavit deposed to by head of the NPA’s investigating directorate Hermione Cronje in the contempt of court application in the South Gauteng High Court, were held under the control of the state capture commission in terms of an order made on August 14 2019.

The directorate alleges Moodley and his company, Albatime Pty Ltd, received kickbacks from the Regiments Group of Companies relating to contracts that were improperly awarded by Transnet and by the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund (TSDBF).

It also alleges that these payments were made solely as a reward for their unlawful involvement in a corrupt scheme to benefit personal interests at the expense of the public purse.

In his responding affidavit, Moodley said the urgency of the contempt of court application by the NPA was “uncalled for” and “unjustifiable”.

“It is on the apparent lack of urgency alone that I submit this application should be struck from the roll with a punitive costs order,” Moodley said in the affidavit.

He said that he had debts to settle and that he had undertaken to pay them from the contents of the safety deposit boxes.

“The fact of the matter is the assets are gone. The applicant states this much. The urgency, it appears, is vested in the information as to how, where, and to what extent, when same was disposed of, and it is estimated that this is required for purposes of recovering the assets contained in the boxes, despite, as the allegations go, resorting to a period of seven years in respect of gifts under Poca [Proceeds of Crime Act].”

He said the NPA, despite knowing that the contents of the safety deposit boxes were disposed of in June, “sat back” and did not do anything about it until July 14 when the contempt of court application was filed on an urgent basis.

“In the event that [the] applicant contends it was not aware that the contents of the safety deposit boxes were disposed of by 24 June, which is not the case, the applicant was aware of this from July 6 when I delivered my disclosure affidavit …”

He said he was “wholly” dependent on the cash contained in the safety deposit boxes to maintain himself and his family after banks withdrew their services in relation to his accounts because of the “bad reputation” and “negative publicity” he received.

“Since my reputation preceded me, no financial institution was willing to accommodate my need for cash. I was hopeless and desperate.”

He said he had met a “Mr X” who offered to lend him cash, which he would repay with interest.

“Mr X became impatient with me and threatened to have me killed. I’m scared of Mr X and I’m scared of what he’s capable of. I do not want to put my or my family’s lives at risk. I needed to protect my family; hence I did not initially disclose this information.

“My fear for Mr X affects my everyday life. I fear leaving my residence and when I do, I carry a gun with me wherever I go,” the affidavit reads.

© TimesLIVE

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

BY NOMAHLUBI JORDAAN

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