Cannot account for Zuma funds

Patience Bambalele and Khanyisile Nkosi

Patience Bambalele and Khanyisile Nkosi

Successful maskandi outfit Izingane Zoma seem to have made a U-turn after coming out in support of Jacob Zuma last year.

There are now conflicting reports about the money they raised at a festival in Soweto in support of Zuma.

The popular trio shocked many people by supporting Zuma when some people were dissuading them from doing so.

The group went on to hold another festival at Woodmead in Durban that was a flop, and the artists involved were not paid.

Thulani Ngcobo, the organiser of the Zibambe Ziqine Msholozi Music Festival held at the Jabulani Amphitheatre in Soweto, said yesterday: "We never staged a festival to raise funds for Zuma. We were just promoting our album. I do not want to talk about the amount that was raised or whether Zuma got the money or not."

Ngcobo said at the time that the proceeds from the festival would be donated to the Jacob Zuma Trust Fund.

Yesterday he referred Sowetan to Makhosonke Zuma, who was also an organiser of the festival. But Zuma was reluctant to comment.

"I don't know why they referred you to me. To my knowledge, the money was sent to Zuma's home," he said.

Zuma could not say who handed over the money nor how much it was.

Izingane Zoma's Lindelwa Sabelo said: "What I know is that the money that was made at the festival paid artists who were performing and the rest was handed over to Zuma, not the people responsible for the Friends of Zuma Trust Fund."

Barnabas Mchunu, spokesman for the Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust, said he could not comment because of a clause in the trust's policy that prevented him from disclosing individuals or groups that donated to the trust.

While Mchunu acknowledged that the festival was for the benefit of the trust, he said he could not comment on the proceeds.

"I can say that the group performed at the festival. I can't say if the money raised there was donated to the trust unless they [Izingane Zoma] give me consent to disclose that information," he said.

Mchunu said the trust had noted there were "con artists" who were using Zuma's name for their own benefit.