Mkhize denies personally benefitting from ANC ‘blesser’ Edwin Sodi

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: GCIS
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: GCIS

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has denied allegations that he received money from controversial businessman Edwin Sodi.

In a statement issued by his office on Friday, Mkhize said he had received various media queries after the allegations were made this week when Sodi appeared at the Zondo commission.

During his testimony, Sodi revealed that his company, Blackhead Consulting, had made several payments to ANC and government officials between 2013 and 2019.

“I wish to categorically state that I have never received any funds from Sodi, either personally or through a third party intended for my personal benefit. I can confirm that during my tenure as the ANC treasurer-general, Sodi, just like many other businessperson, companies and organisations, made donations to the ANC. In fact, when I took over as the treasurer-general, Sodi’s contacts were available in the ANC donors’ database as one of the people who had previously donated to the ANC.

“This database was compiled and kept by the finance office through various public fundraising events which the ANC held. That is how we would contact people or companies and invite them to our events,” Mkhize said.

This offensive sensationalism can only be a side show to taint my name and does not in any way add value to the work that the law enforcement agencies are doing.
Zweli Mkhize

He further confirmed that during his tenure as ANC treasurer-general Sodi either directly or through his entities made the following donations to the ANC (This information has been verified with the ANC finance office):

. R3 million on February 28 2014

. R3.5 million on April 3 2014

. R1.5 million on September 29 2015

. R150 000 on January 8 2016

During his testimony, Sodi said ANC officials who received payments from him included Zizi Kodwa, Thulas Nxesi, Pinky Kekana, Paul Mashatile and Mkhize.

Read: ‘Dodgy’ firm allegedly paid Zizi Kodwa R180 000

The payments were made while Sodi’s company had been awarded government contracts worth millions of rands.

On Thursday, Labour and Employment Minister Nxesi promised his full cooperation with law enforcement agencies and the state capture inquiry about a R45 000 payment Sodi made for “underprivileged” schoolchildren at his request.

Nxesi insisted that this did not amount to gratification, as he personally had not benefited from it and Sodi had not received anything from the minister in return.

Nxesi said there were no personal relations between him and the children he had secured help for from Sodi.

At the time the ANC received these donations I was the treasurer-general, with the specific role of raising funds for my organisation.
Zweli Mkhize

The minister, however, failed to explain how he knew Sodi and why he had approached him for help.

“I have sought to clarify this matter with the Zondo commission and assured it of my support for its work. I have also pledged my full support and any further information it may require,” he said.

“I would like to state categorically that I have nothing to hide and I shall help any law enforcement agencies tasked to investigate this matter.”

On Friday, Mkhize said that outside of having noted Sodi as a donor to the ANC during his tenure as treasurer-general he had no personal, professional or business relationship with him.

“I have also noted the senseless statement by the DA that it will report me to Parliament because of these donations made to the ANC. In the process of doing so, it would assist the DA to make an attempt to properly understand the rules of Parliament.

“At the time the ANC received these donations I was the treasurer-general, with the specific role of raising funds for my organisation. I was not a member of Parliament and, in any event, did not benefit directly from the donations from Sodi. Therefore there is no parliamentary requirement for me to declare all the donations that were received by the ANC during my tenure as treasurer-general,” Mkhize said.

Read: Now arrest and charge the ANC bigwigs, too

He added that it was worth mentioning that where unlawfulness and wrongdoing has been found, law enforcement agencies must investigate.

“I, for one, take serious exception to insinuations, irresponsible and false comments made by some that I personally received money from Sodi. This offensive sensationalism can only be a side show to taint my name and does not in any way add value to the work that the law enforcement agencies are doing,” Mkhize said.


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Mandisa Nyathi 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
mandisa.nyathi@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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