Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Former ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize has denied knowledge of a R2m donation the party allegedly received from the controversial VBS Mutual Bank during his tenure at Luthuli House.

Mkhize‚ who is the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, confirmed that he met the troubled VBS management but that it ‘‘was a formally arranged meeting with the [treasurer-general's] office’’.

According to his version‚ the meeting ‘‘was never’’ about favours for VBS, but rather about the ANC's transformation vision.

Mkhize says he has no ‘‘personal recollection’’ of VBS donating R2m to the ANC when he was in charge of the party's finances.

‘‘If any financial contribution was made to the ANC by VBS or any other company‚ this would have been without any influence or commitment from the ANC to do favours‚’’ Mkhize said in a statement.

‘‘As a general practice‚ the office of the treasurer-general sends letters requesting donations ahead of major events such as gala dinners or rallies to hundreds of business leaders and private companies including banks. This is an open practice.’’

According to Mkhize‚ when he met VBS management‚ he was ‘‘unaware’’ of their relationship with municipalities.

‘‘My views about the VBS saga remain as expressed in parliament; that it was a case of the greedy robbing the poor. The thuggery that has now come to the fore and is playing itself out in the public space around VBS requires a full probe and all those who unduly benefited must face the consequences.’’

A damning report by advocate Terry Motau and Werksmans Attorneys, released earlier in October, detailed looting at VBS bank of nearly R2bn and identified the role of political players from the ANC and the EFF.

The Sunday Times previously reported on text messages exchanged between alleged looting mastermind Tshifhiwa Matodzi and former head of treasury at VBS‚ Phophi Mukhodobwane‚ who claimed they had paid Mkhize R2m in his capacity as ANC treasurer-general at the time.

The two alleged in their text conversation that the R2m donation in 2016 was paid with the undertaking that Mkhize would help raise money from municipalities and state institutions.

The DA was expected to open a criminal case against Mkhize on Wednesday. 

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