THE ANC has not received any money from the sale of a 25% stake in Hitachi Power Africa by its investment arm, Chancellor House, party treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize said yesterday.
Hitachi Power Africa is contracted to construct boilers for Eskom’s coal-fired Medupi and Kusile power stations.
Hitachi said last week that it had decided to end its relationship with Chancellor House and had reacquired its shares to end political controversy over its ownership.
These included accusations of cronyism, owing to its relationship with the ANC, and a succession of technical failures that led to delays in the construction of Medupi.
Mkhize was responding to commentary in weekend newspapers and to DA leader Helen Zille, who said on Sunday that the only reason Chancellor House sold its stake was to bankroll the ruling party’s election campaign.
“It is a lie, it is not true. The ANC has not received any money from the sale of the Hitachi stake,” Mkhize said.
Chancellor House was a separate entity that took decisions on its own.
“That money did not come to the ANC … it is a lie,” Mkhize said.
“You want to know what Chancellor House did with that money? They have a managing director and they have a board. Let’s ask them.”
Mkhize said: “The sale has nothing to do with the campaign for elections.”
Also, there was nothing wrong with the ANC investing in a commercial entity, but it could not invest “anywhere and anyhow”.
He said “there would be a problem if the ANC would invest in such a way that the government was a direct source of income, and therefore the question for us is that the ANC should not invest in a situation where there are government contracts”.
In a bid to further distance the party from Hitachi, Mkhize said it was unnecessary to bring the ANC closer to the matter.
“The construction of Medupi is something in which the government must deal with those involved,” he said. “If they are doing well, they must be praised. If they are doing badly, they must be censured.”
Questioned further, Mkhize said the ANC received donations from Chancellor House as it did from many other companies. – BDLive, additional reporting by Carol Paton