Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mbeki told Shaik to form company - report

Johannesburg - Former President Thabo Mbeki allegedly advised now convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik to set up his business empire, Nkobi Holdings, for the benefit of the ANC, the Sunday Times reported.

The newspaper quoted a 1995 report that is part of a collection of documents from Mandela's archives salvaged from a neglected storeroom at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape in April.

The archives have since been locked away by the ANC from the public following stories published about its front company, Thebe Investments Corporation.

The report titled "President's Report" was addressed to the then ANC president Nelson Mandela, who was also the head of state at the time.
It claimed that Mbeki was central in advising Shaik to create the company that would fund the ANC through "patriotic" dividends paid out for major government contracts.

The report further stated that Mbeki told Shaik "to dislodge from party control" and "contribute to the ANC treasury as a patriotic member [and]... urged Shaik to develop [Nkobi] into another structure like that of Thebe Investment".

Mbeki allegedly suggested that "the fact Shaik knows several ministers, both in terms of a common ANC membership and as friends, does not disqualify him to meet with them in their personal or private capacities".

The report further stated that the meeting in which Mbeki allegedly gave the advise to Shaik was also attended by the former ministers of defence and intelligence, Joe Modise and Joe Nhlanhla at the then deputy president's official residence in Cape Town.

The newspaper reported that senior officials within the National Prosecuting Authority believed the comprehensive report was compiled by Shaik for Mandela's attention.

Mbeki's spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga on Friday denied to the newspaper that the former President had ever played a role in advising Shaik to set up Nkobi Holdings.

"Whoever made these allegations has a very fertile imagination," he said.

He also denied that Mbeki ever had a meeting with Shaik, Modise and Nhlanhla at his official residence.

Shaik was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for fraud and corruption in 2006, but was released on medical parole after having served less than two years. - Sapa

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