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EFF lays criminal charges against Mkhize for alleged bribe

Former Treasurer General of the ANC, Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Former Treasurer General of the ANC, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

A month after former ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize handed over the baton to Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile‚ the Economic Freedom Fighters have opened a criminal case against him for allegedly canvassing a bribe for the ANC.

Preaching unity in the lead-up to the party's elective conference in December‚ Mkhize - who was deemed to not have any scandals hanging over his head - is accused of soliciting a bribe of R80-million from former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa CEO Lucky Montana.

Mkhize wanted Prasa to pay the ANC 10% of the R465-million that was due to Swifambo Rail Leasing - a company that provided locomotives to Prasa - in terms of the contract‚ Montana claimed on Tuesday during his appearance before the parliamentary inquiry into governance failures at state- owned entities.

"We have come to the Hillbrow police station to open a criminal case against Mr Zweli Mkhize‚ [the] former ANC treasurer-general and premier of the ANC in KZN [KwaZulu-Natal] for soliciting a bribe in excess of 20% of the R465-million that was due to the company Swifambo [Rail Leasing]‚" said EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee outside the station on Wednesday.

Gardee said at least for now‚ they have something tangible under oath after Montana presented evidence to Parliament that a bribe was solicited by Mkhize in favour of the ANC‚ adding that this was enough for Mkhize to get convicted in a court of law.

"Initially it was 10% that he requested but the public report indicates that in excess of R80-million was actually paid to the ANC and we hope that the police will be allowed to do their job [to] investigate independently without any undue influence predictably from Mr [Jacob] Zuma who is still in office as we speak‚" said Gardee‚ adding that more charges may follow when the police conduct their investigation.

This follows Montana implicating not only Mkhize‚ but also the Gupta brothers‚ President Jacob Zuma's son‚ Duduzane Zuma‚ and former transport minister Dipuo Peters in wrongdoing at Prasa and Eskom.

Montana said on Tuesday: “He (Mkhize) made veiled threats that he will deal with us. One of his accusations was that we were giving the ANC ‘peanuts’ whilst we took the bulk of the money for ourselves.”

Montana claimed that he had met Mkhize on several occasions at Angolan businesswoman Maria Gomes’ house to discuss ANC finances and fundraising.

Montana further claimed that Mkhize demanded the appointment of Zodwa Manase‚ who was put in charge of the audit committee and Prasa finances‚ so that she could manage the flow of money in the business.

The former CEO claimed that the Guptas and Duduzane tried to manipulate the rolling stock tender and wanted their associates to be appointed in the evaluation bid committee to decide how the tender was awarded and when that attempt failed‚ they pushed for the dissolution of the Prasa board.

Attempts to obtain comment from Mkhize were unsuccessful.

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