Treasury denies Tokyo Sexwale claims over 'Heritage Fund'

Treasury denies Tokyo Sexwale claims over 'Heritage Fund'

National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank have hit back at claims that billions of rands meant for education and the fight against Covid-19 were swindled.

Tokyo Sexwale (L), South African businessman and former politician, and Gianni Infantino, general secretary of the European soccer federation UEFA, both candidates for the presidency of world football's governing body FIFA, address the media in Cape Town

This comes after African National Congress (ANC) veteran Tokyo Sexwale made starling accusations on news channel eNCA on Sunday.

Sexwale told JJ Tabane that he and another prominent business family had sourced the funds from an external donor but flagged parts of the funds as missing.

He added Finance Minister Tito Mboweni was aware of the Heritage Fund.

But Treasury labelled the claims as a scam.

"Allegations made by Mr Tokyo Sexwale on alleged billions that have been deposited at the South African Reserve Bank points to a common scam," Treasury said in a statement.

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"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 regard these as simply scams.

"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."

Treasury admits it's not the first they are hearing of Sexwale's fund.

"National Treasury and the SARB have previously received correspondence from Mr Sexwale and many others that alleges that billions of rands have been stolen from a fund that has 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."

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It's understood the claims stem as far back as 2016.

"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 independent 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," Treasury explains.

"Allegations of theft of non-existent funds have no validity."

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