Zweli Mkhize disputes allegations by former Prasa boss that he garnered money for the ANC

10 November 2020 - 08:27
Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana has accused health minister Zweli Mkhize of overseeing "donations" made to the ANC by Angolan businesswoman Maria Gomes after her company was awarded a R3.5bn locomotive contract in 2016.
Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana has accused health minister Zweli Mkhize of overseeing "donations" made to the ANC by Angolan businesswoman Maria Gomes after her company was awarded a R3.5bn locomotive contract in 2016.
Image: Arnold Pronto/Business Day

Health minister Zweli Mkhize has refuted allegations that he was involved in garnering money for the ANC from a contractor linked to a R3.5bn Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) contract.

The allegations were initially made by former Prasa boss Lucky Montana during an interview with Daily Maverick in which Mkhize, who was the ANC’s treasurer-general at the time, was said to have provided Angolan businesswoman Maria Gomes with bank account details to deposit money which would benefit the ANC.

This after Prasa had awarded the controversial contract to Gomes' company, Swifambo Rail Leasing, in 2016.

Montana — who has long been wanting to testify before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture — made damning allegations that Mkhize played a central role in what would amount to a “donation” of about R80m made to the ANC by Gomes.

In a statement on Tuesday Mkhize's spokesperson Lwazi Manzi said the minister would not engage in “mudslinging with Montana”. 

“Dr Mkhize and the ANC have previously issued statements on this matter refuting the allegations that it had appointed individuals to receive and channel monies on behalf of the ANC, flowing from the Prasa Swifambo tender. In fact, in February 2018, Dr Mkhize also provided a statement to the Public Enterprise parliamentary portfolio committee chaired by Ms Zukiswa Rantho at the time, with a statement giving a detailed account and response to these unfounded and false allegations by Mr Montana.”

Manzi said Mkhize still stood by his previous statements and “it therefore served no further purpose in our view for him to be mudslinging with Montana in the media instead of subjecting these allegations to a formal and independent process”.

“Dr Mkhize thus acknowledges that the commission into state capture has the powers to fully investigate these matters. He remains fully committed and in support of the work of the commission. He will provide whatever information and or clarity that may be required from him as the former ANC TG by the commission. This is borne from his belief that all citizens including senior leaders of the society have the obligation to account and answer to any allegations levelled against them when called upon to do so,” the statement read.

Last month the Sunday Times reported that the Zondo commission was expected to scrutinise the bank records of Montana as part of an investigation into corruption allegations at the train operation.

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