Publication: City Press Issued: Date: 2004-10-24 Reporter: Wonder Hlongwa Reporter: Adri Kotze

ANC 'Never Linked' to Shaik



City Press

Date 2004-10-24


Wonder Hlongwa, Adri Kotze

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Johannesburg - Former ANC treasurer Makhenkesi Stofile has vehemently rejected claims of any connection between the ANC and Schabir Shaik's Nkobi Holdings.

Stofile, the current sports minister, whose name was dragged into the Shaik trial this week, told City Press that the ANC officially "distanced itself from Shaik" in 1995 when he (Shaik) was trying to establish his company, Nkobi Holdings.

Stofile said he personally wrote the official letter - after the meeting of the party's top six leaders - distancing the organisation from Shaik and rejecting his offer to the party to have shares in his company. Stofile said the letter is in the 1995 treasury file at the ANC head office.

Stofile said the meeting, which decided to distance the party from Shaik, was attended by then ANC president Nelson Mandela, his then deputy Thabo Mbeki, party chair Jacob Zuma, then secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa and his then deputy Cheryl Carolus - and himself.

The state's star witness in the fraud and corruption trial of Shaik in Durban, Johan van der Walt, produced an unsigned letter in court this week - apparently written by Stofile - to the executive chair of Malaysian based multi-national, Renong, requesting a meeting and offering to be of assistance to Malaysian investors in SA.

Van der Walt is the forensic director of the international auditing firm KPMG.

"I have never ever written a letter to Renong in my life. It's spurious. The truth of the matter is that in 1995 I did travel to Malaysia to their (Amno-a Malaysian ruling party) general conference to represent the ANC. I was the guest of (Amno president Mohamad) Mahathir," said Stofile.

Shaik is standing trial in the Durban High Court for allegedly organising a bribe of R500 000 for Zuma from a French arms company - Thint - in exchange for the company's protection in the arms deal investigation. Shaik is also accused of using Zuma or the ANC name when bidding for government-related contracts.

Stofile said: "I would have expected them (Scorpions) to raise a letter I wrote in 1995 as treasurer of the ANC saying that we have met as the officials of the ANC and we have taken a decision that the ANC will have nothing to do with Nkobi (Shaik's company).

"There is no link between the ANC and that company (Nkobi) and there never was. He is using the name of the organisation for his own initiative. It is true that when he established the company he wanted the ANC to be shareholders but we did not agree with that," said Stofile.

He added: "If you remember from the beginning (of the investigation) the ANC was linked to this company, I laughed, saying why I was not being asked because I was treasurer general at the time."

Another unsigned letter emerged in court this week apparently written by deputy chairperson of ANC in KwaZulu-Natal Zweli Mkhize thanking Shaik for his contribution of R2.261m in 1999.

With acknowledgements to Wonder Hlongwa, Adri Kotze and the City Press.