FORMER SAA Technical procurement head Nontsasa Memela has denied ever sharing tender pricing information with SRS Aviation founder, Sibongile Sambo.
In her testimony at the Zondo Commission yesterday, she said it was sad that Sambo, whom she helped grow her business, would turn against her.
“I don’t remember giving Sambo any information on the tender-pricing information,” she said.
“It’s the first time I see these WhatsApp messages. I’m not sure of the authenticity of the memory stick. I’d like my lawyer to intervene.”
Sambo told the commission Memela gave her information on pricing in a USB flash drive containing a spreadsheet of prices submitted by bidders. Sambo would pass the information on to US-based AAR Corporation’s Cheryle Jackson.
Sambo was jointly bidding with AAR for a components supply tender at SAAT but was later ditched in favour of JM Aviation.
The R1,2 billion contract was eventually awarded to AAR and a local partner, JM Aviation, in May 2016.
Sambo said Memela gave the information when they met at a Shell garage in Alberton.
“I shared with her price information that’s standard knowledge to supply chain – information based on previous tenders. I’d not take things that were confidential or illegal,” she said.
Memela said she didn’t remember meeting Sambo at the garage.
She said Sambo would usually come to her office whenever she wanted to see her.
Memela said she’d sent the pricing information to Sambo confidentially to help her as a black woman supplier and was not expecting that in future the information would be used against her.