Hawks confirm investigation into Sexwale’s fraud claims

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Hawks say it’s too early to speculate on the names of suspects implicated in allegations of fraud or theft of the so-called Heritage Fund.

Hawks confirmed that an investigation is under way after ANC veteran Tokyo Sexwale claimed that the money held in the so-called ‘White Spiritual Boy Trust Fund’ had been stolen.

He claims that the money was held in private accounts at the Reserve Bank and was unlawfully transferred into six accounts of commercial banks and individuals.

Hawks Spokesperson, Katlego Mogale, says, “The Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) can confirm that a case of fraud, alternatively theft, was opened with regards to the so-called Heritage Fund as reported by the complainant. It is too early in the investigation to speculate as to who the role players are and it is not the norm of the DPCI to reveal name of suspects or persons of interest before allegations are properly investigated and such suspects have been court.”

Sexwale held a media briefing on Thursday to clarify his claims that the money held in the White Spiritual Boy Trust Fund was stolen.

The businessman alleges that the fund was meant to help drive infrastructure development programmes on the continent and across all Indian Ocean Island States.

Below is Tokyo Sexwale’s full briefing:

He told the media that the fund was also meant to boost COVID-19 relief grants from R350 to R2 700 a month in South Africa. Sexwale also says the fund is based in Singapore and is owned by a Chinese investor called Chuck Leong.

According to Sexwale, he was joined by Godwin Webb as a joint mandate holder of the fund. The Reserve Bank and Treasury have denied the claims. They say Sexwale was scammed.

But, the Freedom Front Plus (FF-Plus) leader, Pieter Groenewald, says the response by Treasury and the Reserve Bank is not good enough.

“Allegations by Tokyo Sexwale about the existence of a Heritage Fund and the fact that that some of that money has been stolen must be seen in a serious light. A charge has been laid at the police according to certain newspapers. And the Freedom Front Plus wants to see that there is a thorough investigation. There mere fact that the Treasury and the Reserve Bank denies the existence of such fund is not sufficient. We must get all the facts. And the fact that a charge has been laid against Cyril Ramaphosa makes it more serious. And therefore, Ramaphosa to come clean about this matter and there must be a sufficient and effective investigation so that the public of South Africa know exactly what the real facts are,” says Groenewald.

Sexwale says he again wrote to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to follow up. TS Presents copies of letters. “Who is scamming who”? He asks. He says he also again wrote to presidency #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/JJ5rY24sSZ

— Glory Sefako-Musi (@glorysefako) April 22, 2021

Congress of the People (COPE) says the allegations made by Sexwale are extremely serious.

COPE Spokesperson Dennis Bloem, says, “COPE expects that Sexwale must lay criminal charges of corruption and fraud against the Reserve Bank and all the people that he mentioned at his press conference – former President Zuma, President Ramaphosa, Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni, Director General of Treasury Dondo Mogojane and Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago.

If Sexwale is not laying those charges the Congress of the People will go to a police station and lay this fraud and corruption charges against these people. We believe it will be very reckless and irresponsible of Sexwale to make these serious allegations against these people and not go to the police to investigate this crime.”

Mogale has confirmed that the matter is being investigated.

The allegations come in the same year when the Reserve Bank will celebrate its centenary in June.