Iqbal Survé. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/WESSEL OOSTHIUZEN
Iqbal Survé. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/WESSEL OOSTHIUZEN

The ANC in the Western Cape says it has decided to return a donation made by controversial businessperson Iqbal Survé.

Survé, whose companies have been embroiled in controversy following recent testimony at the commission of inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), made the donation believed to be about R1m, on Sunday.

In a statement on Tuesday, the ANC in the Western Cape said it had instructed the provincial treasurer to return the money immediately.

Khaya Magaxa, the acting chair of the ANC in the Western Cape, said during the course of the election campaign, that the party been approached by many individuals and organisations who expressed their wish to support “the rejuvenation and renewal of the ANC as well as the renewed wave of confidence in our economy, country and movement”.

“Following a thorough assessment, we would then decide if we would accept a particular donation and how it would be used,” he said.

“Due to the fact that this [Survé donation] happened a mere three days before the election, we had no time to do such an assessment or to consider how such a donation would be perceived given the revelations made at the commission of inquiry into allegations of impropriety regarding the Public Investment Corporation,” Magaxa said.

“We remain confident that, despite the fact that we need all help at this stage, returning the donation is the right to do.”

Speaking at a media briefing in Cape Town on Sunday‚ Survé said the donation‚ made through his Sekunjalo group of companies‚ was to support “progressive forces”.

“For us it’s important to deepen democracy‚ it’s important to get people from outlying areas to be able to come to voting stations. I have never hidden the fact that I have supported the ANC‚” he said.

“It’s so important that we support progressive forces. Our support for this election has got nothing to do with Independent Media. Independent Media has its own editors‚ its own people who are responsible‚ objective and do foresight into stories. Our support is because historically since before democracy‚ after democracy.

“I only have one condition to our support‚ do not give us anything in return. We want absolutely nothing in return... Our support is unconditional,” Survé said at the time.

The PIC, which manages about R2-trillion, mostly for government employees and pensioners, controversially invested in Survé’s acquisition of Independent, as well as subscribing for R4.3bn of shares in Ayo Technologies in December 2017 for a 29% stake, at a price that was widely seen to be inflated.

The PIC has vowed to recover the money for Ayo, which was allegedly invested without following due processes. In July 2018, then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene said the PIC was working on an exit from Independent Media.

phakathib@businesslive.co.za