ADDRESS: EFF leader Julius Malema at the Standard Bank Arena during the recent launch of the party’s 2019 election registration campaign.Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) denied allegations by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) that it is captured, and said the R1.2 million donation it received from Gupta-linked Trillian Partners Capital was returned last year.  

This follows accusations by the EFF on Thursday that recently appointed state capture commission of inquiry head of investigators, Terrence Nombembe, was compromised as he received cash as SAICA chief executive from Trillian, and should therefore be removed from the commission. 

Party leader Julius Malema threatened court action should inquiry chairman Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo not remove Nombembe. 

SAICA's acting CEO Fanisa Lamola said the R1,2 million was a student bursary fund donation to Saica's Thuthuka Bursary Fund (TBF) in February 2017. 

Trillian, in the same way as many other public and private donors, made an unsolicited donation to the bursary fund for prospective student accountants. Lamola said the money was paid back after Advocate Geoff Budlender's damning report on Trillian's conduct in the state capture debacle was made public in June last year. 

The probe was instituted by former Trillian chairman Tokyo Sexwale. 

"As an institute that prides itself on ethical conduct, the TBF board of trustees deliberated on the donation from Trillian at a board meeting held in July 2017, in light of all the information that was emerging about Trillian. The board unanimously resolved to return the donation to Trillian with immediate effect," said Lamola. 

"SAICA informed Trillian of the TBF board decision to return the donation, and upon receipt of the Trillian banking details, (which the company only furnished to SAICA in August, following insistence from the institute that it wished to return the donation), paid back the donation to Trillian in full." 

Trillian, which was then controlled by former President Jacob Zuma's friends, the controversial Gupta brothers, amassed billions from South Africa's state-owned entities, including R1.6 billion it earned from power utility Eskom without a contract and without doing any work. 

- African News Agency (ANA)