ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize has spoken out for the first time about two senior Eastern Cape South African Students Congress (Sasco) leaders who allegedly demanded R10000 from him to hire the hall at Buffalo City College (BCC).
The funds were to be divided into two, according to the students – R8000 was for the venue hire while R2000 was meant for mobilising crowds and alcohol.
Mkhize has since come out to say he refused to succumb to the demand because, as a responsible parent, he would never buy alcohol for the youth.
“I, as a responsible parent, would not pay for alcohol,” said Mkhize.
The saga implicates Sasco deputy provincial chair Ondela “Obama” Sokomani and BCC Sasco branch leader Siyamthanda Ngqutwana, who were the apparent masterminds behind the demands.
The Dispatch yesterday reported how the duo blocked Mkhize from addressing students at a planned OR Tambo Memorial Lecture at BCC on Tuesday because he had refused to succumb to their demands.
It also emerged from BCC principal Dharamshand Singh that the the college never asked for a cent for the use of the campus hall by Mkhize.
This while an SMS from Ngqutwana in which Sokomani’s number also appears, clearly states that “the money be paid before Dr Mkhize arrives”.
Sokomani also told the ANC Youth League branch which invited Mkhize, that should they not pay “there [will be] permanent problems”.
It is in the same SMS that Ngqutwana said R2000 was meant “to mobilise comrades to come and sing so we can buy alcohol”.
Mkhize said he has never paid for being invited to a political event of an ANC-aligned structure such as Sasco and he was not about to start doing that now.
“The only logistics we pay for are for our travelling and I can confirm I did not pay a cent of what was demanded in this instance,” said Mkhize.
Meanwhile, Sokomani and Ngqutwana are expected to face further grilling about this saga at the Sasco provincial general council (PGC) taking place in East London today.
This after Sasco provincial secretary Lwando Mangqishi submitted a full report to the student body’s head office.
Mangqishi said he could not rule out further questioning of the two at the weekend PGC while they wait to hear from head office the way forward in this matter.
“I have since submitted my report to national as per their request and we have a PGC this weekend which these comrades will be attending, therefore they may be asked to explain further,” said Mangqishi.
Mkhize said he was pleased that BCC had since “clarified” the matter after an apology and explanation letter sent to Luthuli House. — email@example.com