Sexwale launches probe into Trillian Capital over Nenegate

Johannesburg - Tokyo Sexwale has launched a probe into the company he chairs, Trillian Capital Partners, over its said pre-knowledge of the firing of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

The Sunday Times reported late last month that Trillian Capital was allegedly being privy to Nene's axing, weeks before it happened on December 9 2015.

An affidavit given to former public protector Thuli Madonsela by a ‘whistleblower’, who used to be a former CEO of a business unit at Trillian Capital, contains the allegation.

The whistleblower further alleged that Trillian Capital executives planned to use the information to secure government contract deals. Trillian Capital is further alleged to have links to the controversial Gupta family, who are at the centre of state capture claims in South Africa.

Businessman Sexwale, who was previously Gauteng premier and a minister in President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet, is currently the chairperson of Trillian Capital.

And Sexwale told a media briefing on Friday at Trillian Capital Partners' headquarters in Johannesburg that Advocate Geoff Budlender would conduct the “independent” probe into the veracity of the allegations facing the company.

Sexwale came to choose Budlender after he said that he also approached prominent local legal experts Wim Trengove and Vusi Pikoli, who were said to be unavailable for the probe.

Sexwale speaking in Johannesburg at Trillian Capital Partners' headquarters. (Gareth van Zyl, Fin24)

"Advocate Geoff Budlender has got the leeway to deal with these matters,” said Sexwale.

"I want to say the following: he is also free to work with any of the country's law enforcement agencies, including the public protector. Let's find out how it left the lips of who was ever supposed to have this information in their reserve,” he added.

Sexwale further distanced himself from the allegations facing Trillian.

"I as independent chair, a non-executive, was not part of Trillian when these matters that reported occurred,” said Sexwale.

"I only joined the company this year,” he added.

Sexwale further decried the growing levels of corruption in South Africa, evident from the release of the public protector’s report on state capture this week.

"It is important to fight corruption in South Africa,” said Sexwale.

"We fought for this freedom, we fought for this country,” he said.

"I would never (have) thought I'd hear SA listed next to junk, but here we are,” he added.

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