Mkhize fights kickback allegation

2018-02-04 06:00
Zweli Mkhize. (File)

Zweli Mkhize. (File)

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Former ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize is taking legal advice on what action he can take against former Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) chief executive Lucky Montana for “defaming” him.

In a letter obtained by City Press, Mkhize tells Zukiswa Rantho, the acting chairperson of the public enterprises portfolio committee, that he is exploring his options following allegations levelled against him by Montana this week during Parliament’s Eskom inquiry.

In his 65-page statement, Montana says Mkhize solicited 10% of R465m due to Swifambo Rail Leasing, which provided Prasa with controversial Afro 4 000 locomotives.

“Dr Zweli Mkhize was furious with me for rejecting his demand in a meeting held in a Sandton hotel early in 2014. He demanded that 10% of R465m of the first payment, which was due to Swifambo Rail Leasing in terms of the contract, be paid to him. Like we did with the Guptas, I rejected this demand as unlawful and stated firmly that it will not be done,” Montana claimed.

In his letter, Mkhize avails himself to appear before the inquiry to respond to Montana’s allegations.

“Please be advised that, given the sensitivity and seriousness of the allegations levelled against me, I have been advised by my lawyers not to respond publicly for now, but rather subject myself to the formal process which is being conducted by your honourable committee, that I personally recognise and respect,” he wrote.

“It is only after I have appeared before the honourable members that I will explore other legal options available to me to deal with these allegations made against me, some of which I regard as defamatory.”

Mkhize’s name was not the only prominent one singled out by Montana. Others include former transport minister Dipuo Peters, who he says sought to strong-arm him into illegally cancelling a contract with French company Alstom, as well as ANC national executive committee member Enoch Godongwana, who Montana alleges called on him to support a company bidding for a security tender at Prasa.

On Wednesday, the Economic Freedom Fighters, led by secretary-general Godrich Gardee, opened a criminal case against Mkhize. Gardee told journalists at Hillbrow Police Station that the party would look at adding more charges against the former treasurer-general.

Mkhize expressed concerns in his letter that the name of the ANC has also been dragged through the mud by Montana.

“As part of transparency and to support the resolution taken by my political party, the ANC, to fight corruption and state capture, I hereby write to you to indicate that I am prepared to make myself available to attend the inquiry to respond directly to allegations made by Mr Montana,” Mkhize’s letter reads.

“What makes this of significance is not only the damaging effect this has on me as a person, but also the negative perceptions that this may form about the ANC
and undue influence by its leaders on state-owned entities. I say this because the allegations clearly infer that I acted in my capacity as the treasurer-general of the ANC at the time.”

Read more on:    anc  |  zweli mkhize  |  guptas

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