ANC regional secretary of BCM Pumlani Mkolo’s political woes continue to mount.
Today we can reveal that his latest girlfriend, a high-flying Johannesburg-based lawyer, received R350000 from the funds meant for the burial of former state president Nelson Mandela.
This money was part of the R5.9-million contract awarded to local taxi boss Mzwandile Sokwali’s company Victory Ticket CC to ferry mourners to memorial services around the Buffalo City Metro last December.
This is part of the more than R100-million that was spent by the Eastern Cape government during Mandela’s funeral. A Daily Dispatch investigation earlier this year found the money was not used for what it was meant for. Instead it was divvied up and ended up in bank accounts of people close to Mkolo, including his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, Nosiphiwe Mati.
Sokwali transferred R100000 to her account.
Some of it went to East London businesswoman Viwe Vazi, who received R899000. Mantella Trading, a company owned by another East London businessman Dean Fanoe, was paid R1.38-million. It has since been established this money was used to buy T-shirts for the ANC.
Mantella has a contract with BCM to fix broken street lights.
All these transactions were done just days after the money was paid into Sokwali’s company on December 13. Five days later Sokwali transferred R350000 to Lily Rose Trust.
The Dispatch has spent the last eight weeks trying to establish the link between Sokwali and Lily Rose Trust.
This week we finally cracked it and are able to tell you it is owned and run by Mkolo’s new girlfriend, Zintle Nkuhlu, and Sibongile Luthuli.
This was confirmed by the Master of the South Gauteng High Court.
“The agent who is assisting with the administration of the trust is Ntanga Kganane Nkuhlu Attorneys, Sandton, Johannesburg,” said Nonhlanhla Roberts of the Master of the South Gauteng High Court.
Zintle is the estranged wife of businessman Andile Nkuhlu, the former ANC Youth League leader who left the ANC to found the Congress of the People.
He has since returned to the ANC.
Sokwali this week refused to comment saying the matter was in court.
Neither Mkolo nor Zintle Nkuhlu responded to telephone calls, smses and e-mails sent to them to question what services the trust rendered for the memorial services.
Luthuli confirmed she was one of the trustees.
“I am unaware of the transaction in question. Please refer the matter to the other trustee, who runs the day-to-day functions of the trust,” Luthuli said.
When pressed if she was aware of the funds deposited and whether the other trustee had informed her about it, Luthuli said: “No, she never mentioned it.”
Tsepo Kganane of Ntanga Kganane Nkuhlu Attorneys confirmed Zintle was running the day-to-day functioning of the trust. He, however, refused to answer what the trust was used for and who were the beneficiaries.
“Speak to Zintle – she is running the trust,” Kganane said.
The Dispatch has established from three independent sources that Mkolo and Zintle enjoy a romantic relationship. According to one source they have been dating for over a year.
They are seen together at rugby matches and have also travelled together to Plettenberg Bay and George, where Mkolo attended meetings as the president of the Border Rugby Union.
Zintle Nkuhlu has visited East London a few times to visit Mkolo.
Zintle, the daughter of boxing personality Khulile Radu, is known for her lavish lifestyle. She enjoys the finer things in life and is often seen in Johannesburg’s top restaurants. Another source said the trust was registered in 2012 to benefit Andile and Zintle Nkuhlu’s child.
Andile Nkuhlu refused to comment yesterday, saying he was separated from his wife. “I really don’t want to be dragged into this thing,” he said.
This latest revelation comes two weeks after Sokwali and his wife, Busisiwe Boti, were arrested by the Hawks in connection with this taxi scandal. They are both out on R10000 bail.
The investigation continues with the Hawks casting their net wider.
“All those who have been paid money by Sokwali are being investigated for the role they played in the BCM taxi fraud.
“All those who benefited, from taxi operators to individuals, will be questioned and if found to have benefited without providing any transport, they will pay back the state and will be criminally charged for fraud.
“Those who bought T-shirts, which, according to treasury they were not supposed to, will have to pay back the money to the state.
“Those who bought food/catering will have to pay back the money,” the source said.
Two months ago, ANC boss Gwede Mantashe instructed his provincial and regional leaders to act against those who unlawfully benefited from funds meant for taxi mourners. Yesterday provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said where there was wrongdoing the Hawks should act and as the ANC they were awaiting the outcome of the investigation.
lJoin the conversation on Twitter #DDmadibafuneral