By BO Staff Writer
The following affidavit which was submitted to the CR Swartz Police Station in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on 27 July 2018 in support of the criminal charges laid by Black First Land First against Adriano Mazzotti, was previously published on the movement’s website and is now reissued by Black Opinion:
I the undersigned Andile Mngxitama do hereby make oath and state:
1. I am the President of Black First Land First (BLF), and I am duly authorized to depose to this affidavit on behalf of BLF.
2. The contents of this affidavit are, unless the context indicates otherwise, within my personal knowledge. They are to the best of my knowledge both true and correct. The submissions of law that I make are based on the advice given to me by my legal team.
3. BLF is a Black Consciousness, Pan Afrikanist movement which embraces the Sankarist leadership ethos. It is registered with the Independent Electloral Commission as a political party and is situated at Office 602, Renaissance Building, corner of Main and Elloff Streets, Gandhi Square, Johannesburg.
4. The purpose of this affidavit is to provide evidence in support of the charges of tobacco trafficking, money laundering, fraud, corruption, bribery and tax evasion against Adriano Sauro Lorenzo Mazzotti that BLF is laying against him. I submit that it is the evidence of the crimes of Carnilinx as suggested inter alia by Jacques Pauw read in line with the content of the affidavit of Mazzott (elaborated below), that serves to support the charges being preferred against Mazzotti by BLF.
5. The South African Police Services (SAPS) and its investigative unit, the Hawks, are requested to subpoena the following people for questioning and further investigation towards prosecuting Mazzotti:
a. Jacques Pauw regarding the relevant evidence in his book ‘The President’s Keepers’; his message on twitter on 4 July 2018 indicated below; and his letter to Julius Malema responding to his denial that he had received a loan from Mazzotti to pay his SARS tax bill.
b. The South African Revenue Service (SARS), which has Adriano Mazzotti’s original affidavit in terms of which he (Mazzotti) admits to his crimes, must be engaged on Mazzotti’s affidavit.
c. The SARS official bribed by Carnilinx in 2013 to hand over official documents to them.
d. The acting SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay and investigations head Johann van Loggerenberg in respect of whom there was attempted bribery by Carnilinx with R800,000.00 during late 2013 or 2014.
e. All the directors of Carnilinx including Mazzotti, Mohammadh Sayed and Kyle Phillips in respect of their criminal activities via Carnilinx.
6.. Jacques Pauw in his book ‘The President’s Keepers’ makes damning claims about, amongst others, Carnilinx boss, Adriano Mazzotti.
7. In this regard Pauw alleged that Mazzotti has confessed to being complicit in numerous crimes including tobacco trafficing, money laundering, fraud, corruption, bribery and tax evasion. According to Pauw, Mazzotti made these admissions in his affidavit to SARS in May 2014.
8. On 4 July 2018 at 11h07 Pauw tweeted a message which suggested the disappearance of Mazzotti’s tax debt to the tune of R600 million; the payment of EFF’s registration fee to contest the 2014 elections by Mazzotti; and the granting of a loan to Malema by Mazzotti to assist with paying his tax debt.
9. Julius Malema responded by sending Pauw a letter in which he denied Pauw’s allegation that he had received a loan from Mazzotti to pay his SARS debt and asked Pauw ‘to set the record straight’.
10. Pauw subsequently responded to Malema. The material aspects of his response are as follows:
a. He was wrong about Malema receiving a loan from Mazzotti towards payment of his tax bill. Malema had actually received a loan of R1 million from Mazzotti’s partner and his co-director in Carnilinx, Kyle Phillips. The above was reported in newspapers in 2015, including the Sunday Times. Malema had not subsequently disputed any of these allegations.
b. The issue of whether Malema had taken a loan from Mazzotti or Phillips is irrelevant as both of them “are partners-in-crime in Carnilinx”. In this regard, “Phillips is the director handling general operations and Mazzotti is in charge of corporate sales and marketing at Carnilinx … (and) [t]hey both hold a 16.6% share of the company”.
c. The evidence he will produce will show “that in accepting a loan from Phillips, (Malema) might unwittingly have accepted the proceeds of crime”. Similarly, in accepting the “R200,000 that Carnilinx paid in 2014 for the registration of the EFF as a political party”, Malema might have accepted the proceeds of crime.
d. On 6 May 2014, Mazzotti made a sworn affidavit of 52 pages which he submitted to SARS in furtherance of settling the outstanding taxes of Carnilinx. To this end Carnilinx’s tax bill totalled “hundreds of millions of rands” in respect of which “[a]n amount of R600 million is often mentioned.”
e. Pauw has in his possession a copy of Mazzotti’s affidavit which he describes in his book ‘The President’s Keepers’ and which indicates criminal activity of Carnilinx and by extension Mazzzotti and the other directors.
f. Mazzotti indicates in his affidavit that he is a “duly authorised representative of Carnilinx”. This means “he speaks on behalf of the other directors, among them Phillips.”
g. One relevant extract from Mazzotti’s affidavit, which is not featured in his book, is from page 30 of the said affidavit. It reads:
“In its drive to promote its business, Carnilinx entered into a host of transactions, some of which were lawful and others corrupt and unlawful.”
h. In this respect the following is instructive:
i. Mazzotti indicates that Carnilinx is in acceptance of its illegal and ‘morally wrong’ acquisition of two tons of tobacco weekly spanning 40 weeks or so. He said, “this was unlawful and morally wrong’.
ii. Mazzotti elaborates on the attempts to hide Carnilinx’s criminal wrongdoings as follows:
“No records were kept of the manufacturing process. This was deliberate as to avoid any detection.”
i. Another important extract from Mazzotti’s affidavit that is not featured in his book, is from page 24 thereof which reads:
“The cash received was utilised to pay the people referred to and the balance was retained by the three of us in equal proportions. I point out, however, that a substantial amount of this money was used by the three of us as company expenses, engaging in expensive dinners, entertaining business people, politicians and other people.”
j. Pauw points out that the three people that Mazzotti makes reference to are, “himself, Kyle Phillips and fellow-director Mohammadh Sayed.”
k. Pauw submitts that Mazzotti in his sworn affidavit “does not just admit to fraud, money laundering, tobacco smuggling and tax evasion, but describes in detail that both he and his fellow directors had absolutely no qualms to bribe SARS officials.”
l. To this end Mazzotti “describes how in 2013 they bribed a lowly SARS official to hand them official documents.” Moreover, “[l]ater that year or early in 2014, they attempted to bribe (the) then acting SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay and investigations head Johann van Loggerenberg with R800,000.”
m. Mazzotti indicates how they “paid this money to a Johannesburg attorney who was supposed to bribe Pillay and Van Loggerenberg (but who) [i]nstead … pocketed the money.”
n. A further revelation in Mazzotti’s affidavit that is not featured in his book, is from page 35 thereof which reads as follows:
“We apologize to Van Loggerenberg and Pillay for doubting their integrity and casting aspersions on their honesty and integrity.”
n. Mazzotti also indicates how an acting judge and senior counsel “was wrong to accept a gift” in the amount of R500,000 cash which was given to him in a bag.
o. Yet another important indication in Mazzotti’s affidavit, not featured in Pauw’s book, is from page 52 thereof. Carnilinx, Mazzotti says “has made a donation in an amount of R200,000 towards a political party”. Pauw correctly concludes that Mazzotti is referring here to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
p. An extract from page 49 of Mazzotti’s affidavit indicates that Carnilinx is proposing to plead guilty to the offences he committed in terms of Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Act. Many years later and nothing has happened to Carnilinx, Mazzotti and its other directors.
q. However, the tax bill of Carnilinx has since disappeared. To this end before his book was published Pauw ‘asked Mazzotti if he was tax compliant.’ Mazzotti ‘confirmed, in writing, that both he and Carnilinx were compliant.’
r. As pointed out above, Mazzotti and the other directors of Carnilinx were prepared to plead guilty. It been four years since Mazzotti’s incriminating affidavit and Mazzotti, Phillips and the other directors of Carnilinx (implicated in the crimes indicated in the said affidavit) have not been criminally prosecuted and or made to account for their wrongdoings via the civil courts. Moreover nothing has happened to the assets of Carnilinx and its directors which have evidently been acquired via the proceeds of crime. The Assets Forfeiture Unit (AFU) must be employed in this respect.
11. It must be stated that although Mazzotti indicates a plea of guilty regarding the offences he admits to it is nonetheless important that a thorough investigation be conducted by the SAPS and Hawks so as to ensure that any statement of guilt by Mazzotti covers all the details of the relevant crimes he has committed.
12. In all of the above circumstances BLF is hereby charging Adriano Sauro Lorenzo Mazzotti with tobacco trafficing, money laundering, fraud, corruption, bribery and tax evasion and that all the relevant persons including those mentioned herein be subpoenaed and questioned in furtherance of bringing Mazzotti to book.
13. Whoever else is found to be implicated with Mazzotti in the commission of the relevant crimes will be charged in due course accordingly.