Oilgate follow-up findings under lock and key for now

A follow-up investigation by the public protector into the so-called Oilgate funding saga has been completed but would not immediately be released.

A follow-up investigation by the public protector into the so-called Oilgate funding saga has been completed but would not immediately be released.

Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana said at a press conference in Pretoria yesterday that a report on the findings of the investigation has been compiled.

But it could not be released until a court case by the Mail & Guardian newspaper challenging the outcome of his original investigation into the matter was finalised.

The Mail & Guardian Oilgate articles alleged that oil trader Imvume Management paid R11million to the ANC after obtaining an advance from state-owned PetroSA. When Imvume was unable to pay its own suppliers, PetroSA doubled the payment. Public money, the newspaper claimed, found its way into ANC coffers. In 2005 Mushwana found no wrongdoing by PetroSA.

Mushwana did not investigate Imvume's donation to the ANC, saying this fell outside his jurisdiction because the company and the party were private entities and the money, once in Imvume's hands, could not be described as belonging to the public.

The newspaper challenged the finding and the high court reserved judgment on the matter.

The DA has again approached Mushwana, asking him to look into subsequent claims by businessman Sandi Majali on the issue.

This comes after Majali in a Sunday Times article threatened to "spill the beans" about how R11million of public money ended up in the coffers of the ANC ahead of the 2004 elections and the role played by PetroSA in the transaction. - Sapa

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