No evidence R1m donation to Mabuyakhulu ever reached the ANC, state capture inquiry hears

Mawande AmaShabalala Political journalist
Former ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial treasurer Mike Mabuyakhulu. File photo.
Former ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial treasurer Mike Mabuyakhulu. File photo.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Other than the word of former ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial treasurer Mike Mabuyakhulu, there is no evidence that R1m he claims was donated to the ANC by the former provincial treasury head Sipho Shabalala ever reached the governing party's coffers.

This emerged on Wednesday during Mabuyakhulu's grilling at the Zondo commission, where he was questioned on the controversial R1m donation to the ANC allegedly made by shady businessman Gaston Savoy after scoring a questionable provincial tender.

A PwC forensic investigator, Trevor White, found in his investigation into the contract, awarded to Savoy's company Intaka, that due process was not followed.

According to his findings, this was because Intaka had donated R1m to the ANC, via Shabalala — a finding Mabuyakhulu disputes.

Mabuyakhulu does, however, admit to having received a R1m cash payment from Shabalala on June 11 2008, two weeks ahead of the ANC KZN provincial elective conference.

White issued a finding in his report that other than Mabuyakhulu's word, there was no proof at all that the money Mabuyakhulu claims he received from Shabalala reached its intended destination — the ANC. 

“Mabayakhulu alleged that he had received R1m from Shabalala on behalf of the ANC. There is no other evidence that the said money was received by the ANC,” said White's findings, which were read into the record by the commission's evidence leader.

With the commission battling to get proof from Mabuyakhulu that he indeed paid the money to the ANC coffers, he struggled to mount a believable explanation.

According to him, the money was spent on the June 20-22 2008 provincial conference.

Where are the receipts, the commission quizzed him, They do not exist.

Mabuyakhulu further conceded that he never issued Shabalala a receipt to prove he had donated to the ANC.

Mabuyakhulu appeared to find himself unable to reconcile his assertions that Shabalala had told him two months before the donation that he would “raise funds” for the ANC. He claimed that he understood the cash to be Shabalala's own donation.

The commission pressed him on the process he followed to account to his party about Shabalala's “donation”.

He said he accounted about the donation at conference, albeit not an individual item but R7m of donations that had been raised.

Why?

“For the purposes of the report that would go to conference, you would not be able to itemise the donations and we did not do it at the time,” he said.

Did he at least tell his fellow ANC provincial “top five” about Shabalala's donation?

“There were structures that were taken into confidence about donations made into the organisation.”

In the end, Mabuyakhulu could not produce proof or names of people who can back his claim that the R1m reached the ANC.

The commission rested his testimony which will be continued at a date yet to be determined.

TimesLIVE


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