ANC veteran and former Minister Tokyo Sexwale has claimed money in a donor-funded “heritage fund” meant for the poor has been stolen.
In an interview with JJ Tabane on eNCA on Sunday, Sexwale said he was part of two people “in charge” of this heritage fund “that belongs to a very powerful family out there in the world.”
Ramaphosa and Zuma ‘knew about Fund’
The fund “comes through the SA Reserve Bank” and President Cyril Ramaphosa as well as former President Jacob Zuma knew about it in 2016, Sexwale claimed.
He added, “The fund is able to help the students with free education in this country. The Fund can help with all these things that the President is talking about, [like] bullet trains.
“The government is giving about R350 for [COVID-19 social relief of distress grant]. We are able and have offered the government R2,700 for every poor person in South Africa. We have offered money for universities [and] to save state-owned enterprises.
“The issue was to bring this fund into our hands so that we can help. We have just offered, for COVID-19 and even universities, a few billions to clean up this [student] debt.
“This money is there, but in the process of making sure that it is brought into the economy properly, we found some resistance, and when we checked this resistance, we found that part of this money has been stolen.”
The ANC veteran said it is a “police matter” now, adding that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and his predecessor know about the fund.
‘Unseal CR17 bank statements’
Sexwale also waded into the debate on the CR17 campaign bank statements, which is the subject of an EFF court application to have them unsealed. The campaign propelled Ramaphosa to the ANC Presidency in 2017.
He challenged Ramaphosa to unseal the statements to address suspicions about the sources of his campaign funding and how the campaign used the funds.
“There are rumours of scandal around this President. He’s my President, [so] what would I advise? I would say, comrade Cyril, call off the bluff. Open those accounts,” Sexwale said.
“There are costs of becoming a political leader. In the US, they’ve got to know everything; you are fully audited. I would say to the President, just call off the bluff. Just disappoint them. Just open [the accounts].”
The Pretoria high court heard the matter in March and reserved judgement. The CR17 campaign and Financial Intelligence Centre argued that the bank statements contain confidential information about third parties whose privacy is protected by law.
Ramaphosa has previously said he does not have the power to unseal the documents.
Reserve Bank and National Treasury respond
UPDATE: The Reserve Bank and National Treasury have since issued a statement dismissing Sexwale’s claim, adding that from its experience, the alleged fund is a “scam.”
The two entities stated, “National Treasury and the SARB have previously received correspondence from Mr Sexwale and many others that alleges that billions of rands have been stolen from a fund that has been referred to as the ‘White Spiritual Boy Trust’ and which was set up by a foreign donor.
“It is further alleged that there are trillions of dollars in the said fund and that, inter alia, a certain Mr Goodwin Erin Webb was its mandated representative in South Africa.
“On investigation, the SARB can confirm that it had no record of the existence of the said fund and it had advised Mr Sexwale in writing that, given the SARB’s experience and knowledge of this and other similar matters, it could only conclude that the alleged fund was a scam.
“It should be noted that Mr Sexwale is not the first prominent person acting on behalf of a Mr Webb or an unknown donor, for such funds, and such requests can be traced to many years before 2016.”
To read the full statement, click here.