Durban – Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has denied allegations that he received money from controversial businessman Edwin Sodi.
In a statement issued by his office on Friday, Mkhize said he had received various media queries after the allegations were made this week when Sodi appeared at the Zondo Commission. During his testimoney, he revealed that his company, Blackhead Consulting, had made several payments to ANC officials and government officials between 2013 and 2019.
At the time it was reported that ANC officials who received payments from Sodi included Zizi Kodwa, Thulas Nxesi, Pinky Kekana, Paul Mashatile and Zweli Mkhize. The payments were made while Sodi’s company had been awarded government contracts worth millions of rands.
“I wish to categorically state I have never received any funds from Mr Sodi, either personally or through a third party intended for my personal benefit. I can confirm that during my tenure as the ANC Treasurer General, Mr Sodi, just like many other business persons, companies and organizations made donations to the African National Congress. In fact, when I took over as the TG, Mr Sodi’s contacts were available in the ANC Donors database as one of the people who had previously donated to the ANC.
“This database was compiled and kept by the finance office through various public fundraising events that the ANC held. That is how we would contact people or companies and invite them to our events,” Mkhize said.
He further confirmed that during his tenure as the ANC TG, Sodi either directly or through his entities made the following donations to the ANC (This information has been verified with the ANC Finance Office):
- R 3 million – 28 Feb 2014
- R 3.5 million – 03 April 2014
- R 1.5 million – 29 Sept 2015
- R 150 000 – 08 January 2016
“I once again state categorically that the above payments were deposited directly into ANC’s official bank accounts, I therefore can only assume that the name Zweli Mkhize was used by the donor as a reference, given my capacity at the time as the Treasurer General. Furthermore, I wish to emphasise that all the donations we received made voluntary, they were never transactional or linked to securing work from government,” Mkhize said.
He said that outside of having noted Sodi as a donor to the ANC during his tenure as TG, he has no personal, professional or business relationship with him.
“I have never been party to any of his business dealings nor have I interacted with him at a personal level.
“I have also noted the senseless statement by the DA that it will report me to parliament because of these donations made to the ANC. In the process of doing so, it would assist the DA to make an attempt to properly understand the Rules of Parliament. At the time the ANC received these donations, I was the Treasurer General, with the specific role of raising funds for my Organisation. I was not a Member of Parliament and in any event did not benefit directly from these donations from Mr Sodi. Therefore there is no parliamentary requirement for me to declare all the donations that were received by the ANC during my tenure as TG,” Mkhize said.
He added that it was worth mentioning that where unlawfulness and wrong-doing has been found, the law enforcement agencies must investigate this.
“Matters relating to Mr Sodi and his companies are now before the courts. This legal process should therefore be allowed to run its course without being muddied by mischief and misinformation that drags individuals names, where there is no evidence. I for one, take serious exception to insinuations, irresponsible and false comments made by some that I personally received monies from Mr Sodi. This offensive sensationalism can only be a side show to taint my name and does not in any way add value to the work that the law enforcements are doing,” Mkhize said.