Health minister Zweli Mkhize has denied receiving R6.5m in donations from controversial businessman Edwin Sodi, during his tenure as ANC treasurer-general.
“I wish to categorically state I have never received any funds from Mr 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, Mr Sodi, just like many other business persons, companies and organisations made donations to the ANC,” Mkhize said in a statement on Friday.
He said when he took over as treasurer-general, Sodi’s “contacts were available in the ANC donors’ database as one of the people who had previously donated to the ANC”.
Last week TimesLIVE reported that Mkhize’s name was flagged among those of ANC leaders who received payments from Sodi’s company, Blackhead Consulting, which got most of its business from the departments of human settlements in Gauteng and the Free State.
Other names that were flagged included labour and employment minister Thulas Nxesi, ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile and deputy ministers Pinky Kekana and Zizi Kodwa.
Sodi, who last week appeared at the state capture inquiry, was asked about several payments flagged from his company with references to several high-ranking ANC leaders and the party itself.
Sodi referred to the ANC leaders mentioned as either “my friend” or “business partner” and admitted that he “generously” donated to the ANC, particularly during the 2014 election campaign.
Mkhize said Sodi either directly or through his entities made the following donations to the ANC:
R3m on February 28 2014;
R3.5m on April 3 2014;
R1.5m on Sept 29 2015 and;
R150,000 on January 8 2016
“I once again state categorically that the above payments were deposited directly into the ANC’s official bank accounts, I therefore can only assume that the name Zweli Mkhize was used by the donor as a reference, given my capacity at the time as the treasurer-general.
“Furthermore, I wish to emphasise that all the donations we received [were] made voluntary, they were never transactional or linked to securing work from government,” Mkhize said.
He denied having a personal or business relationship with Sodi.
“I have never been party to any of his business dealings nor have I interacted with him at a personal level.”
Mkhize said he had also noted a “senseless” statement by the DA that it would report him 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 these donations from Mr 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.
“It is also worth mentioning that where unlawfulness and wrongdoing has been found, the law enforcement agencies must investigate this,” Mkhize said.