South Africa 31.8.2017 12:16 pm

Mkhize embroiled in corruption scandal over R4.6bn PetroSA deal – report

African National Congress (ANC) treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize during an interview on April 21, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: Gallo Images

African National Congress (ANC) treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize during an interview on April 21, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: Gallo Images

The ANC treasurer general wants senior officials from the Central Energy Fund to explain where the allegations against him come from.

ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize is reportedly involved in a corruption scandal over an alleged plot to swing a R4.6 billion PetroSA deal, according to a Daily Maverick report.

It is alleged that an affidavit by former PetroSA board member, William Steenkamp, claims that his removal from the parastatal’s board can be linked, in part, to the R4.6 billion project through which PetroSA seeks an equity partner to boost gas exploration at Block 9 off the Cape south coast.

Steenkamp and another axed board member, Owen Tobias, have reportedly lodged an urgent application to challenge their removal by the Central Energy Fund (CEF) board.

Anda Bici – an adviser to CEF chairman Luvo Makasi – according to the affidavit, is alleged to have confronted Steenkamp in June in parliament and informed him he was told by a “contact” Steenkamp and Owen during a PetroSA board meeting had deliberately convinced the board not to support a Russian company favoured by President Jacob Zuma.

The board allegedly opted for a Nigerian company linked to the ANC treasurer general to partner with PetroSA around Block 9.

The case was expected to be heard at the High Court in Cape Town yesterday. The CEF board is said to have “vehemently” denied the allegations and opposed their application.

In response to the allegations against him, Mkhize is reported to have immediately rejected any knowledge or involvement in the PetroSA deal last week. He told Daily Maverick he had no idea why the CEF officials would have brought up his name relating to the deal.

Mkhize also said he did not know the CEF individuals named personally and neither is he familiar with the Nigerian company contending for the R4.6 billion deal.

He has reportedly written a strongly worded letter, seen by Daily Maverick, to the CEF-linked individuals at the centre of the allegations.

In his letter, Mkhize said the claims suggesting him and Zuma had a hidden hand in the deal “exacerbates a perception that the ANC runs a corrupt government and that officials are involved in dirty deals”.

The letter – directed to Makasi and his advisor Anda Bici – is said to be a stern warning for the CEF officials to respond to the allegations contained in Steenkamp’s affidavit by no later than today.

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