Health minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/THAPELO MOREBUDI
Health minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/THAPELO MOREBUDI

Health minister Zweli Mkhize has once again denied allegations about donations to the ANC made during his tenure as the party’s treasurer-general as claimed by former Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) CEO Lucky Montana.

In an interview with Daily Maverick’s investigations team Scorpio, Montana alleged that there were financial dealings between Mkhize and Angolan businesswoman Maria Gomes who, in 2013 and 2014, received R40m from Prasa’s infamous R3.5bn Swifambo rail leasing contract.

Scorpio reported that Montana alleged that he and Mkhize regularly met with Gomes at her home in Johannesburg in the period after Prasa had awarded the contract.

Mkhize, who was the ANC’s treasurer-general at the time, allegedly provided Gomes with details of bank accounts into which she was asked to deposit money for the benefit of the ANC, Montana told Scorpio.

Prasa is among state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that have been ravaged by years of corruption and mismanagement due to state capture, which has cost SA about R500bn.

Last year, in a letter to the state capture commission, Montana threatened to spill the beans on the role ANC leaders played in the “demise” of the rail system in SA, however, he later pulled out of testifying in front of inquiry chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.

Montana said he did this because he had been pressured to “drop some aspects” of his testimony. This was as the SA Revenue Service (Sars) moved to attach his assets.

The former Prasa CEO, who was fired from the rail agency in 2015, had also lodged an impeachment complaint against Zondo that was dismissed in July for “lacking in substance”.

This is not the first time Montana has made allegations against Mkhize relating to Prasa. Mkhize said on Tuesday that he had previously issued statements on the matter refuting the allegations.

Mkhize said he also gave a detailed statement to parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises in February 2018, along with a statement giving a detailed account and response to the “unfounded and false allegations” by Montana.

Dr Mkhize still stands by those previous statements and it therefore serves no further purpose in our view for him to be mudslinging with Mr Montana in the media instead of subjecting these allegations to a formal and independent process,” his spokesperson Lwazi Manzi said.

She said Mkhize acknowledged that the state capture commission has the powers to fully investigate these matters and that he will provide whatever information and/or clarity that may be required from him as the former ANC treasurer-general.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

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