Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize. File photo: ANA/Jonisayi Maromo

CAPE TOWN - Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize is consulting lawyers about a newspaper report on Sunday claiming he was involved in corruption. 

He had been made aware that the Sunday Times had published a story titled 'Zweli Mkhize linked to R4.5 million dodgy deal', Mkhize said in a statement.

"It attempts to allege that I facilitated a loan from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). I also received questions from the Sunday Times asking if I have any relationship with Zonkizizwe Investments and whether I facilitated a PIC loan for Afric Oil.

"I made it clear that I have never facilitated such a loan and I have no relationship with Zonkizizwe. This I still maintain. I have also now learnt through the article that there are lawyers who have instituted action against certain parties wherein my name is mentioned. To date I have not seen such a lawyer’s letter nor is there any action pending against me or by me on such a matter," Mkhize said.

He said he had also not been provided with a shred of evidence on when he facilitated this loan and who he engaged with in doing such facilitation.

"I deny having done any facilitation whatsoever for the granting of the Afric Oil loan at PIC. Interestingly enough, despite the Sunday Times establishing that there was a person who confirms having facilitated this PIC loan, the newspaper still elected to make the entire front page headline to revolve around me.

"This, I take exception to. In my view it can only be meant to tarnish and defame my name without much substance. This kind of journalism is not only sensational but also unprofessional. In my view it is an attempt to sell copies of the Sunday Times based on an enticing headline which is nothing but sensationalism which lacks substance. I reiterate, as said in my earlier statement, that I will immediately seek legal advice on how to deal with this matter and the recourse I can get.

"Once again I categorically deny having facilitated any PIC loan for Afric Oil. In my tenure as the ANC treasurer general I met with various companies who would brief me on their operations, strategies, or plans. This is no way meant that my intervention was required. At no stage did I enter into an agreement to facilitate loans for a fee," Mkhize said.

The Sunday Times reported that a letter of demand from a Johannesburg law firm had exposed an alleged R4.5 million kickback for the former ANC treasurer general and other ANC supporters for helping an oil company get a huge loan from the PIC. 

The “facilitation fee” had been described by governance experts as “highly inappropriate” and “nothing short of corruption”, the Sunday Times reported.

African News Agency/ANA