Boesak ‘gave Manuel money’

2009-06-01 08:27

Cape Town – Dr Allan Boesak could be in court again following revelations in his new book about which of his fellow struggle leaders received money from his former Foundation for Peace and Justice.

Die Burger established on Sunday evening that Trevor Manuel - currently the head of the planning commission in the presidency - was seeking legal advice about the allegation that he had received money from the foundation.

Boesak, a Cope member in the Western Cape provincial parliament, was sent to prison after being found guilty of fraud relating to money from the foundation for which he couldn’t account. He would not testify during his trial, but insisted at all times that important ANC leaders were helped financially by the foundation.

Former president Thabo Mbeki gave Boesak a presidential pardon after his release, and his criminal record was wiped clean.

Rapport on Sunday reported that Boesak wrote in his new book, Running with Horses – Reflections of an Accidental Politician: “Among those who were helped (financially), were the family of Trevor Manuel, whose wife was left alone with their firstborn, Govan, and another ANC stalwart, Christmas Tinto, and his family.”

'Deeply hurt'

Boesak goes on to tell how “deeply hurt” he was after his release from prison when Manuel - then minister of finance – refused to admit that he was helped by the foundation. Although he and Manuel were never personal friends, “we were comrades and I had great respect for his courage and perseverance”.

On Sunday, Thoraya Pandy, a spokesperson for Manuel, said the minister was seeking legal advice on the matter. “But the minister’s feeling is that even if the media reports are true, the question is whether this is the money that appeared on the charge sheet and for which Dr Boesak was eventually sentenced.”

Boesak also wrote about a visit from Judge Siraj Desai, a Western Cape High Court judge with a struggle background: “Reality kicked in when Judge Siraj Desai visited me and said I should see my prison sentence as a ‘last sacrifice for the struggle’.”

Desai said on Sunday night that he would have to read the book before commenting on it.

Running with Horses will be released on June 12 in Somerset West. Rapport apparently broke a June 7 embargo with its report on Sunday.