We will pay back the Eskom money if asked - Mkhize

2017-05-10 17:20
Zweli Mkhize (Tshidi Madia, News24)

Zweli Mkhize (Tshidi Madia, News24)

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Zweli Mkhize on Gupta-ANC funding: We received money from the past

2017-05-10 10:23

African National Congress (ANC) Treasurer- General Zweli Mkhize says the ANC received donations from the Gupta family. WATCH

Johannesburg - The ANC has given the strongest indication yet that it received R1.7m in funding from a company that was awarded R1bn in tenders from Eskom.

The party was awaiting the outcome of investigations into allegations of wrongdoing, ANC treasurer Zweli Mkhize told News24 on Tuesday.

They would co-operate with all investigations into the money received from Impulse International. Eskom had hired a law firm to conduct a forensic and legal investigation while the DA said it wanted the Public Protector to investigate.

If there was something questionable about a donation, and they had to pay it back, they would do so.

“We will do the right thing.”

Also read: ANC branch members should speak out - Mkhize

The Sunday Times reported that Eskom awarded the tenders to Impulse International, a company in which Koketso Choma, step-daughter of the power utility's acting CEO Matshela Koko was director.

Choma lived with Koko when he was Eskom’s group executive for generation and the supply chain management division reported to him.

Choma received R16m from Impulse International last year through Ukhwakhiwa Investment, a company she is sole director of.

According to the Sunday Times, Impulse made its first deposit to the ANC ahead of its January 8 bash at Orlando stadium. A day later, it secured a R14.2m contract with Eskom. Two days after this, the company deposited R775 000 into the same ANC account, the paper reported.

Good faith

Mkhize did not deny that the party received the money.

He said ahead of the ANC’s January 8 birthday celebrations, they sent letters to various companies asking for donations.

“We receive donations from various companies. It is not about how they themselves would have gotten their contract, it is always an open request where people would either come and make a contribution or they will come and do an exhibition, or buy tables in this case,” Mkhize said.

They had no way of knowing if there was something untoward with companies they approached, until matters were in the public domain.  He said the party was never involved in “transactional donations”.

“We accept the funds in good faith. We take donations that are unconditional, non-transactional and donors can say I donated to ANC and we can say we did receive it.

“If a donor is subsequently involved in criminal activities the ANC can’t get involved because we couldn’t have been part of that corrupt activity.”

The ANC has in the past courted controversy over several donations it received from entities or individuals accused of irregularly receiving tenders from state-owned companies.

It would be a “challenge” for the governing party to receive money from the Gupta family, which President Jacob Zuma had referred to as his friends.

‘Economic downturn’ affecting funding

Asked if the party would again receive money from the Guptas, Mkhize said “It would be a little bit of challenge.

“I haven’t been approached and they haven’t offered, so I can’t say ‘yes I can’,” Mkhize said.

He said the last payment was two or three years ago.

In March, News24 reported that Swifambo Rail Leasing MD Auswell Mashaba claimed in an affidavit that he made payments totalling R80m to a lawyer who said he was a fundraiser for the ANC. Mkhize denied that the party received the money.

“We will not knowingly go for a company that is either shady or that has got suspicious sources of revenue and go and seek money from them.”

Donations from slain mining magnate Brett Kebble had set the precedent that the ANC would repay money gained through fraud and corruption.

According to party policy, any ANC member could approach a company for donations. Party members doing so for self-enrichment would face criminal charges or disciplinary hearings, he warned.

He said the ANC’s finances were healthy and since he took office the party’s staff had never gone unpaid. The negative news about the party had not affected funding, but the economic downturn had, he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  eskom

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