Billions missing in SA govt treasury, says senior ruling party official

Tokyo Sexwale

Johannesburg – The National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) have dismissed claims by ANC veteran and businessman Tokyo Sexwale that he was instrumental in depositing billions of rand at the central bank to help poor university students.

Sexwale made the claims during an eNCA talk show Truth to Power hosted by JJ Tabane in which he said that he raised billions of rands and that the funds in question were channelled to the central bank in 2016.

According to Sexwale, former president Jacob Zuma and incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa were aware of the funds which he said were meant for free education of poor students.

But Treasury and the central bank have dismissed the claims.

During his interview on the news channel, Sexwale said two weeks ago they reported a case of theft to the police after funds, while under the care of the central bank, allegedly went missing.

But in a joint statement, both Treasury and the SARB said: “Allegations made by Mr Tokyo Sexwale on alleged billions that have been deposited at the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) points to a common scam. Over the years, National Treasury and the SARB have received many such requests for, or promises, of billions (and now trillions) of rands or dollars, and from experience regarding these as simply scams.”

They added: “Any claim that such funds are meant for deserving causes such as Covid-19 relief, social grants or grants for free education are simply empty promises, to secure the interest of the potential victim.”

They also indicated that they had previously received correspondence from Sexwale and many others that alleged that billions of rands have been stolen from a fund that had been referred to as the ‘White Spiritual Boy Trust’ and which was set up by a foreign donor.

“It is further alleged that there are trillions of dollars in the said fund and that, inter alia, a certain Mr Goodwin Erin Webb was its mandated representative in South Africa. On investigation, the SARB can confirm that it had no record of the existence of the said fund and it had advised Mr Sexwale in writing that, given the SARB’s experience and knowledge of this and other similar matters, it could only conclude that the alleged fund was a scam,” the statement read.

The entities said it should be noted that Sexwale was not the first prominent person acting on behalf of Mr Webb or an unknown donor, for such funds, and such requests could be traced to many years before 2016.

“The SARB can confirm that all cross-border transactions are reported to the SARB by commercial banks who are appointed as authorised dealers in foreign exchange transactions. The SARB has concluded that there is no evidence to support the existence of such funds. If Mr Sexwale believes otherwise, the onus is on him and his unknown sponsor to provide independently written proof of the existence and/or transfer of such funds, as well as certified copies of actual identification and citizenship of such ‘donors’, in line with the normal FICA- type anti-money laundering requirements,” the statement said.

The central bank is adamant that the allegations of theft of non-existent funds have no validity.

Meanwhile, attempts to contact Sexwale to elaborate on his comments were unsuccessful as his phone rang unanswered. – IOL

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