United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa. Picture: ARNOLD PRONTO
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa. Picture: ARNOLD PRONTO

THE African National Congress (ANC) says it has no knowledge of transactions that allegedly saw money from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) channelled to its coffers, for salaries and to bankroll its January 8 birthday bash.

ANC treasurer Zweli Mkhize on Wednesday rejected the allegations made by United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa in a complaint to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, describing them as "false and baseless".

"The ANC has no knowledge of these transactions nor any record of such monies being paid to the organisation," Mr Mkhize said.

Mr Holomisa, in the written complaint, asked Ms Madonsela to investigate a R40m payment from the PIC to the ANC during the second week of last month. This allegedly helped the ANC pay staff salaries last month, and to pay for its anniversary bash held in Rustenburg. A further R2m had been transferred from a PIC account to private equity company Harith General Partners, also for the benefit of the ruling party, Mr Holomisa claimed.

Mr Holomisa also said the PIC was about to fund a R1.5bn transaction, to help an overseas-based investment company with interests in the rest of Africa buy into SA-based assets.

The PIC manages about R1.5-trillion in assets on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund.

Mr Mkhize said the ANC respected the "right and obligation" of any individual to ask for an investigation where there was suspicion of fraudulent and corrupt activities, and would co-operate fully with the probe.

"It is extremely unfortunate, however not unexpected, that opposition parties will clutch at straws based on anonymous faceless and nameless sources to tarnish the image of the ANC, particularly during an election year. The ANC is unwavering in its commitment to fight against misuse and misappropriation of public funds held in trust for the people of SA."

On Tuesday, PIC spokesman Sekgoela Sekgoela denied the allegations and undertook to co-operate with the public protector, should the investigation take off.

"The PIC has not been approached by the public protector and it is not aware of these allegations. However, should the public protector investigate any transactions, the PIC will give its full co-operation," he said.

Harith investor relations and communications executive Pule Molebeledi denied that the company was involved in facilitating funds to the ANC. "We unequivocally and strongly deny that we received any money from the PIC meant for the ANC.

"No such payment took place. We reserve our rights given the reputational impact such an unwarranted and false claim will have on our business," he said.

The claim has the tinge of a previous funding scandal. In 2004 Sandile Majali, now deceased, was accused of channelling money to the ANC from state oil company PetroSA through his company Imvume.

The office of the public protector on Tuesday confirmed receiving the complaint from Mr Holomisa, but could not immediately confirm whether the matter would be investigated. The public protector normally holds an internal assessment before making an announcement on whether or not it will investigate.