Johannesburg – ANC veteran and businessman Tokyo Sexwale is sticking to his guns that billions of donor funds were stolen from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and channelled to 18 local commercial banks including various prominent business people in the country.
Sexwale on Thursday reacted to the National Treasury and SARB statement which indicated there was no such cash under the care of the reserve bank and that he had been scammed.
However Sexwale had none of it.
He reiterated comments made during an interview on eNCA’s Truth to Power talk show hosted by JJ Tabane that an undisclosed owner of the money, deposited cash into the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland, with the view of assisting with philanthropic and humanitarian needs of all governments in Africa and Indian ocean Island States.
According to Sexwale, the cash deposited amounted to 12 zeros in US currency and were supposed to be used to improve infrastructure, free education announced by former president Jacob Zuma a few hours before the start of the ANC elective conference in December 2017.
He said the cash was also supposed to be used for the procurement of bullet trains which President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in his statement nation address in 2019.
He reiterated that both Zuma and Ramaphosa were aware of the cash under the custody of the central bank.
Despite the central bank denying the existence of the cash, Sexwale insisted that the bank was the “hub of money laundering” saying South Africa was the only country in Africa which accessed the cash from BIS into their care.
“The money was then transferred to 18 commercial banks in the country including into the personal accounts of prominent individuals. All these crimes happened at the Reserve Bank. Now they say Tokyo was scammed,” he said.
In a veil attack on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, Sexwale said if indeed he was scammed, Mboweni had a responsibility to report such a scam to the police.
Sexwale also gave a detailed account of how in February 2019 he made his own ANC’s party bosses, especially Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile, aware about the existence of the funds.
He also said that he elevated this to Minister Mboweni and Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago.
According to him, the “thieves” were now returning the same cash to the country allegedly in a form of investment following President Ramaphosa’s numerous calls for International Investments in the local economy.
But according to him, no genuine people or institutions would invest in South Africa after the country suffered a number of financial downgrades.
“The people who are purporting to be investing in South Africa are the very same people who stole the donor funds from the Reserve Bank,” Sexwale insisted.
On Thursday, the head of the Hawks Lieutenant-General Adv Godfrey Lebea confirmed that Sexwale registered a complaint with his office and he referred him to his Serious Economic offence Unit.
“Mr Sexwale has indeed registered a complaint with my office. I then referred him to our Serious Economic Offences Unit. They are conducting an investigation on the matter,” Adv Lebea said.
The National Treasury and the Reserve Bank said they did not want to comment on the latest allegations by Sexwale but maintained that they stood by their statement denying the existence of such funds.