Former KwaZulu-Natal ANC treasurer, Mike Mabuyakhulu. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Former KwaZulu-Natal ANC treasurer, Mike Mabuyakhulu. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Zondo commission: Mike Mabuyakhulu admits receiving R1m in cash for ANC

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published Jun 23, 2021

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Johannesburg - Former KwaZulu-Natal ANC treasurer, Mike Mabuyakhulu, has told the state capture inquiry that he clearly told his party’s lawyers that he did receive a R1 million donation in cash from Sipho Shabalala.

Mabuyakhulu returned to the Zondo Commission where he gave evidence in response to an affidavit by Sibusisiwe Ngubane-Zulu of Ngubane and Wills Incorporated.

“I clarify that I received that donation, I clarify that I received it in cash. I actually received that money from Mr Shabalala,” he said.

According to a forensic expert Trevor White, the KwaZulu-Natal government circumvented procurement processes to favour Intaka, a company belonging to businessman Gaston Savoy, who allegedly donated R1m to the ANC KZN.

According to Mabuyakhulu's version, the donation to the ANC – which was received by him in cash in 2008 by then head of KZN provincial treasury Shabalala – had nothing to do with Intaka.

The state capture inquiry earlier heard that the Gupta enterprise employed individuals involved in gang activity and was making use of pre-existing and independent criminal networks.

The commission continued to hear money flows-related evidence from Paul Holden of London-based Shadow World Investigations.

Holden referred to the 2017 murder of “Steroid King” Brian Wainstein to highlight that suspects in this murder, like Mathew Breedt and his brother Sheldon Breedt, were associates of the Guptas. This, Holden said, ultimately underscored the criminality of the Gupta enterprise.

“It is disturbing that the funds ultimately emanated from taxpayers were transited out of South Africa via the hands of this organised crime network,” Holden said.

Holden has been asked by the Zondo Commission to describe how the four laundry networks identified in his report operated at the highest level. Holden said the laundries were “incredibly complicated”, but there was a certain pattern to how they operated.

According to Holden’s testimony, at the very top level there was a first-level “laundry vehicle” company that received funds from state contractors. From there, the funds were paid into what Holden called an intermediary account, or “high-level laundry vehicle”.

The funds were paid into that account from multiple different first-level laundry entities and then sent onwards in the money-laundering network. They were then often sent on to a further party, that further aggregated the funds, and then made those transfers onwards again.

“In most instances where we have been able to trace the funds flowing on to some sort of endpoint, the funds generally end up offshore,” he said.

Holden referred to this in the report as an “onshore/offshore bridge”.

An onshore/offshore bridge is a company that receives and aggregates payments from this laundry network and then makes payments abroad into a very extended overseas network.

The vast majority of funds identified in this network enter into what Holden called the Hong Kong/China laundry network.

He said hundreds of companies registered in the Hong Kong/China laundry network received money from state capture and then presumably kicked those funds out to an “eventual intended recipient”.

In his evidence, Holden said that Gupta associate Salim Essa owned Hong Kong companies that received kickbacks from China North Rail and China South Rail.

Holden’s evidence revealed how billions of rand were siphoned from the state and into Gupta-linked enterprises through the years of state capture.

While over R49 billion has been disbursed by organs of the state in expenditure tainted by state capture, the Gupta enterprise earned over R16bn of that money, Holden previously testified.

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Political Bureau

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