MEC rejects IFP’s bank claims

2009-03-17 00:00

KZN Finance and Economic Development MEC Dr Zweli Mkhize said yesterday he has noted the statement by the IFP on Ithala Bank loans with disappointment and regret.

Mkhize said it is surprising that the IFP is reviving issues that have been dealt with in the media many times before.

He said in a statement his department wants to put on record, again, the following:

• Any member of the provincial legislature or government departments is entitled to get loans from Ithala provided that due process is followed and that no undue influence is exerted in the granting of the loan.

• Former board members and CEOs are not precluded from having loans as long as these loans are declared and recorded in the financial reports, in keeping with good governance.

• Dr May Mkhize, his wife, is a professional woman in her own right who also has dealings with financial institutions other than Ithala. She, like others, is entitled to Ithala services. The MEC said he has in the past openly declared the existence of loans advanced to his wife’s company.

• May Mkhize, Ntombi Shabalala and Pretty Mbanjwa never received loans from Ithala as a collective. They merely applied and later withdrew their application.

• “The allegation that Dr Zweli Mkhize has a loan with Ithala is not true, malicious and is rejected.

For the record, he does not have a loan with Ithala. This was dealt with as far back as 2006 and members of the legislature, of which the IFP is a part, were given an opportunity to engage with the issue as well as question Dr Mkhize to get more details if needed.”

• The issues of the loan to Sipho Shabalala, CEO of Ithala, were clarified during a press conference to announce his appointment. Shabalala does not have any loans with Ithala.

• Nandi Mandela and Sizani Dlamini-Dubazana’s status played no role in the awarding of the loans.

They were part of a consortium funded by Ithala.

Mkhize said he rejects the insinuation that loans are in arrears at Ithala as a result of the contravention of Ithala’s lending policies.

A later statement from the department added that “from the 2007 financial year to February28, 2009, a total of R536,1 million has been advanced”.

Of this, R119,7 million went to co-ops and R416,4 million to small, medium and micro enterprises.

Related party loans as at February 28, 2009, amounted to R29,7 million, 2,48% of the total loan book.

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