Durban - The ANC has disowned Philani “PG” Mavundla, the former financial backer of former president Jacob Zuma.
On Sunday Mavundla officially joined the NFP at a ceremony in his home town of Greytown.
Despite the fanfare, the chairperson of the ANC in the Inkosi Bhambatha region (uMzinyathi), Lucky Moloi, said they were surprised by the “publicity stunt” because Mavundla was no longer a member.
“He moved his membership from our region five or six years ago, and we don’t know where he went to. As he has not been a member of our region, we don’t know where or when he resigned as a member,” Moloi said.
Speaking to Independent Media on Sunday, Mavundla said his decision to leave the ANC had to do with corruption and political killings, saying both affected mainly ANC rank-and-file members.
“I am no longer adding value to the ANC and that has been the case for the past seven years. Political killings and corruption are some of the reasons why I am leaving. Political killings don’t affect members of the DA, but only members of the ANC. Look at the Zondo Commission and the corruption allegations coming out. Out of all those accused there is no member of the DA, but mainly members of the ANC,” he said.
Mavundla is a prominent construction and property tycoon whose construction company, PG Mavundla Projects, has been involved in several high-profile projects, like the King Shaka International Airport, Sibaya Casino and Eskom’s Ingula power station.
He was the mayor of Umvoti (Greytown) between 2011 and 2013, and donated his then R700 000 annual salary to the council and used his own car to run municipal errands.
He and late Durban businessman Don Mkhwanazi were major funders of the now defunct Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust, which was started in 2005 to raise funds for Zuma immediately after he was fired by Thabo Mbeki.
The trust later became a springboard for Zuma’s campaign for the ANC presidency, which he snatched from Mbeki at Polokwane in 2007.
At the height of the wrangling between Zuma and former public protector Thuli Madonsela over Nkandla’s security upgrades, Mavundla publicly challenged Madonsela to draw up a final sum so that he could pay it.
He denied that he was leaving the ANC because Zuma was no longer in power. He said he stayed in the ANC even when Zuma was recalled, and went on to vote for the ANC both at provincial and national level in the May 8 elections.
“I am my own man. Some time back I supported Senzo Mchunu (former ANC KZN chairperson and premier) and did not support NDZ (Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma). That shows that I don’t support everything that Zuma supported, I am my own man. So the decision to leave the ANC has nothing to do with Zuma,” he said.
Mavundla denied rumours that he was leaving the party because he did not like the current ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa, because he has closed down the tenders tap.