President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

Durban - One of the partners from eMpangeni-based Ngwenya & Zwane Attorneys says he is “not privy” to the CR17 fund leaks that contains details of three payments totalling R1.5 million made to a law firm bearing a similar name.

The presence of the law firm bearing the similar name set tongues wagging, with critics of President Cyril Ramaphosa alleging that he funded the lawfare in KZN that raged on from mid-2016 to December 2017. 

In the battle, Lawrence Dube, a councillor in Vryheid and other members of the ANC in KZN took the party to court to challenge a November 2015 elective conference that saw Sihle Zikalala elected chairperson, narrowly beating former provincial chairperson and premier, Senzo Mchunu. 

The matter was filed around 2016 and later heard in 2017. In September 2017, the Pietermaritzburg High Court nullified the conference. 

Dube, the councillor and the ANC members went back to the court to apply for an order to force the provincial executive committee out of office even though it was appealing the decision. The members who were closely associated with Mchunu won and later the PEC was forced not to vote at the now infamous Nasrec conference. 

The partner at the law firm, Alpha Zwane, told Independent Media on Tuesday that his clients for the matter that started mid-2016, paid him and he was not paid by the fund. 

“I represented the Applicants in the matter of Lawrence Dube & Others vs Sihle Zikalala & Others. The matter was heard in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg under Case No.7904/16P. My clients settled my fees and disbursements for services rendered,” Zwane said in a written response. 

Asked to be specific and deny or confirm whether it was his firm that appears in the leaked bank statement of the fund, Zwane said: “I am not privy to the so called CR17 leaks.”

Again when asked whether the fees were directly settled by Dube and others or they were settled by a third party on behalf of them, Zwane said: “My clients paid by electronic transfer.”

When called, Dube said he could not answer questions about the law firm as he is not an employee and said all questions must be directed to the firm. 

Political Bureau