NATIONAL NEWS - Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has refuted claims that he facilitated payments to the ANC from the R3.5 billion Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (Prasa’s) trains contract when he was the ANC’s treasurer-general.
Mkhize was responding to the allegations after the Democratic Alliance (DA) called on Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to summon the minister to testify before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
According to Scorpio and Daily Maverick, former Prasa chief executive Lucky Montana claimed that Mkhize had nominated bank accounts into which Angolan businesswoman Maria Gomes had to pay money for the benefit of the ANC.
It was further reported that Montana had insisted on assurances that the payments by Gomes and Auswell Mashaba, director of Swifambo Rail Leasing (firm that won the contract), to the ANC were donations and not kickbacks from the deal.
Meanwhile, Mkhize’s spokesperson Lwazi Manzi said the minister had already addressed the allegations in 2018 and insisted that he still stood by those previous statements.
“Dr Mkhize and the ANC have previously issued statements on this matter refuting the allegations that it had appointed individuals to receive and channel monies on behalf of the ANC, flowing from the Prasa-Swifambo tender.
“In fact, in February 2018, Dr Mkhize also provided a statement to the public enterprises parliamentary portfolio committee, chaired by Ms Zukiswa Rantho at the time, with the statement giving a detailed account and response to these unfounded and false allegations by Mr Montana.
“Dr Mkhize still stands by those previous statements and it therefore serves no further purpose in our view for him to be mudslinging with Mr Montana in the media instead of subjecting these allegations to a formal and independent process.”
“The minister remains fully committed and in support of the work of the [Zondo] commission. He will provide whatever information and or clarity that may be required from him as the former ANC treasurer-general by the commission.
“This is borne from his belief that all citizens, including senior leaders of the society, have the obligation to account and answer to any allegations levelled against them when called upon to do so,” Manzi said.