Straight to the cop: Zondo zeroes in on Bheki Cele

Four firms linked to the minister flagged, as he joins the likes of ‘Gupta pal’ Lynne Brown on a long inquiry list

18 October 2020 - 19:06
The Zondo commission has sent subpoenas to major banks to have a look at Bheki Cele’s financial records.
Time to account The Zondo commission has sent subpoenas to major banks to have a look at Bheki Cele’s financial records.
Image: Supplied

The Zondo commission’s investigators want to analyse the bank accounts of police minister Bheki Cele and companies linked to him and late ANC eThekwini chairperson John Mchunu.

Cele and Mchunu were political allies and business partners in several companies. Mchunu died in 2010.

Four companies linked to Cele have been flagged, in three of which he is still active director while he has resigned from one.

Cele resigned from Isibhudla Trading but remains active at Ithembelihle Logistics, Tray Holdings and Cracin Property Development. The commission has sent subpoenas to major banks to have a look at Cele’s financial records at the above companies.

Cele spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said the minister declared these financial interests to parliament and has “no knowledge of the subpoena”.

Another company in which his wife Thembeka Ngcobo is a co-director has also caught the eye of the commission’s investigators.

At this stage it is unclear what are the commission’s reasons are for looking into Cele.

Also in the commission’s sights are the bank records of former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown.

Brown said she was unaware that the commission was zooming in on her money movements.

Brown is number 65 on a long list which includes the controversial Gupta family businesses and companies linked to their associates.

Brown has been heavily implicated in allegedly laying the foundation for the Gupta family at state-owned entities during her tenure. Recently former Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi implicated Brown at the inquiry claiming that the Gupta brothers had Brown under their influence.

He alleged that Gupta associate Salim Essa was even involved in the composition of board committees at the power utility. Brown has previously denied allegations that the Gupta family, which was close to Zuma, had influenced her on decisions relating to boards at state-owned entities.

Most recently, Brown has been named by several witnesses in the Eskom-related testimony about events in 2015.

The commission heard how Brown pushed for the suspension of then Eskom chief executive Tshediso Matona to make way for Brian Molefe.

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