The Former ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize revealed that the party accepted donations from Bosasa despite public allegations of corruption within the party, including paying bribes for tenders shrouding the Krugersdorp-based firm.
Mkhize made the revelation after being questioned about a 2014 photograph snapped at ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, that shows a Bosasa delegation including Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson and chairperson Joe Gumede with Mkhize.
Mkhize is seen handing over what appears to be a gift bag emblazoned with a picture of former presidents Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma with the words: “Thank you for your support to the ANC in 2014”. According to Mkhize, the picture was taken following an “introductory meeting” between Bosasa executives and himself, and he could not specifically recall the photograph.
‘I can confidently say I don’t have a personal relationship with Bosasa bosses’
He said in his experience when business people met with leaders of the ANC, they would request photographs to “commemorate the experience”.
“In my term as treasurer general, I have, in my official capacity, met with hundreds of business people involved in small, medium and large enterprises,” Mkhize said.
“As far as I can remember, Gavin Watson and members of his team had an introductory meeting with me at my office at Luthuli House in 2014. It was not ‘commonplace’ for members of Bosasa to visit my office. I recall only ever encountering Mr Watson in passing occasionally, mostly at public and party events,” he continued.
“These were not in my personal capacity. I can confidently say that I do not have a personal relationship with Bosasa’s directors and any inference of the sort will be treated with the contempt it deserves.”
Corruption made public
By the time this meeting took place in 2014, it had been more than five years since media reports first exposed corruption involving Bosasa and billion-rand correctional services tenders.
At the time, reports revealed the contents of a 2009 Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report that found evidence of bribes paid to correctional services officials by Bosasa executives.
The bribes, paid to former correctional services commissioner Linda Mti and the department’s chief financial officer Patrick Gillingham, included cars, homes, furniture, cash, rugby tickets and flights and accommodation.