Fear of a news leak about the R1m donated to the KwaZulu-Natal ANC is one of the reasons the money was never publicly revealed to other ANC members nor recorded in the party’s bank records, said former provincial treasurer Mike Mabuyakhulu.
Testifying at the state capture inquiry on Tuesday evening, Mabuyakhulu said donations to party coffers were one of the sensitive issues that could not be revealed to everyone within the ANC, but were only reported verbally to the top leadership, which included former ANC treasurer Zweli Mkhize.
Mkhize has confirmed through an affidavit to the inquiry that he is aware of the controversial R1m donation. It was made to the ANC 13 years ago by businessman Gaston Savoy.
In virtual testimony, Mabuyakhulu said the money was not banked because the cash-strapped party used it to pay for preparations for the 2008 KwaZulu-Natal provincial elective conference.
He told the inquiry’s chairperson, deputy justice Raymond Zondo, the party had discussed some of its matters only verbally. Sensitive information included individual donations and their circulation, banking matters, legal matters and liabilities. The ANC had in the past learnt the hard way when confidential matters were aired in public.
“That conference had more 3,600 delegates. It was a huge meeting. In keeping with what I’ve said previously, we would not report on individual donations, except that we would do so to the leadership. Here I raise issues such as the banking situation and bank statements of the ANC because that information would have immediately leaked.
“These are matters about which you wouldn’t go into specific details in a huge meeting as that would cause difficulties. But the leadership would know about the donations, and that is officials. You brief them because there is collective leadership at that level.