DURBAN - FORMER Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the Ithala Development Finance Corporation Bank loan granted to his wife Dr May Mkhize in 2006 was within the parameters of the law and was being serviced until 2026.
Mkhize was responding to written questions from the Daily News on Sunday.
This comes after his move to challenge the adverse Special Investigation Unit (SIU) findings against him and his family in a tender contract awarded by the national Department of Health to Digital Vibes.
The contract was to conduct media awareness campaigns around the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) and other health-related issues during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fifteen years ago, while Mkhize was Finance and Economic Development MEC in KwaZulu-Natal, his wife was granted a loan from the state-owned Ithala Development Finance Corporation to the tune of R11.8m to finance a farm near Pietermaritzburg.
Asked whether he had exerted political influence to secure the loan to his wife, Mkhize said his wife’s loan with the bank was taken out in 2006 for the acquisition of the farm as well as its operational costs.
“My wife applied for the loan as any person would do where she went through the normal credit processes of the bank securing the loan with the required supporting documentation as it is done with any bank loan. To suggest that this process was not on merit is mischievous.
“The 20-year commercial loan of R11.7-million is being serviced with interest as per the loan agreement with the bank until 2026. The current amount owing on the bond is R8 million. I should also indicate that my wife has retired from active farming,” said Mkhize.
Ithala Bank spokesperson Sithandiwe Dimba said the bank was not at liberty to discuss matters relating to client accounts with third parties, including the media.
She added that this was in line with the requirements of the Protection of Personal Information Act.
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