Businessman nabbed in first arrest in probe into state capture

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER

BARELY 24 hours after he disclosed that he had donated millions to the ANC from profits made from a questionable R255-million, the man suspected to be kingpin in what has come to be known as the “asbestos scandal” has been arrested.

Edwin Sodi, the CEO of Blackhead Engineering, was among five individuals arrested by the Hawks, South Africa’s elite investigation unit, in connection with suspected fraud and corruption around the project.

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said the suspects are scheduled to appear in Bloemfontein on Friday.”

Sodi told the Zondo Commission, investigating fraud, corruption and capture of the state by individuals, civil servants and politicians, that he had made a R6.5-million donation to the ANC and made several other payments to senior ANC officials, including a cabinet minister and a deputy minister.

Sodi admitted that while his company received the tender, it did not have the expertise or accreditation to handle hazardous material and conduct an asbestor audit. His company was awarded the R255-million contract, then subcontracted Mastertrade for R51-million to do the work. It then pocketed R200 million for doing nothing.

In 2017, Sodi’s partner Ignatius Mpambani was gunned down in Sandton, Johannesburg.