ANC rejects fraud claims

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

ANC spokesman Smuts Ngonyama has rejected accusations that the ANC had any underhand dealings with Imvume boss Sandi Majali, the man who ensured that R11million of taxpayers' money ended up in the party's coffers on the eve of the 2004 elections.

In response to questions, Ngonyama said if this was an attempt to smear ANC leaders, including secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe - who is considered a candidate for the presidency of the party - then it was a matter of "grave concern".

Ngonyama spoke to Sowetan in Cape Town after a media briefing on the party's preparation for its December national conference.

Ngonyama's comments come in the wake of a Sunday Times report that Majali had threatened to "spill the beans" on how the money went to the ANC and the role PetroSA played in the transaction.

Majali, speaking through lawyer Barry Aaron, said he had never asked PetroSA for a R15million advance to pay staff bonuses, but that PetroSA had offered to make the payment. Part of that money was paid to the ANC.

But Ngonyama said: "We have said right from the beginning that it is purely a private issue between Imvume and PetroSA. It has nothing to do with the ANC.

"We stick to the principles and policies regarding donations and support we get from individuals and companies without promise of any favour. There is absolutely nothing like that. If this is a smear campaign against any official of the ANC, it is a matter of grave concern."