State Capture to hear evidence from Travel agents regularly used by the Guptas

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The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture will on Tuesday hear evidence from two travel agents who worked for Travel Excellence, a travel agency that was regularly used by the Guptas and their associates to book overseas business trips.

Between 2015 and 2016 Travel Excellence is alleged to have received over R100 000 from Gupta associate Salim Essa to make travel and accommodation arrangements for the then Eskom CEO Matshela Koko and his family to Indonesia and Dubai.

However, Koko disputes these allegations.

Koko told the State Capture Commission that invoices and emails from Sahara Computers showing that the now defunct company paid for chauffeur services, hotel bookings and travel arrangements for him are false.

The commission’s evidence leader Paul Seleka showed the commission that Koko had acknowledged and replied to various emails, documents and attachments coming from Gupta-linked Sahara computers detailing travel arrangements, arrival transfers and hotel bookings for him.

Koko claims he paid for his own hotel and travel arrangements while in Dubai.

Seleke says, “Three more people seem to be at least in a statement that coincides with yours Koko, the others came there after you on the 22nd and on the 14th of January 2016, Mr Duduzane Zuma on the 14th of January 2016. Do you wish to comment on this because it’s an invoice addressed from Sahara computers?

Koko said, “Yes yes, there is any document that the commission needs to verify that is false.”

State Capture Inquiry | Matshela Koko testifies

Travel Excellence is also alleged to have booked trips for former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh and his partner. Singh also denied the allegations and in his previous evidence claimed he was not aware his trips were paid for by Gupta associate, Essa.

The travel agent also made travel bookings for various other parties allegedly implicated in State Capture including former Mineral Resource’s Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.

Both Sameera Sooliman and Halima Allana who worked at the Lenasia-based travel agency will appear before the commission to give evidence related to these bookings.