The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and the National Treasury jointly denied allegations made by ANC veteran and billionaire Tokyo Sexwale that money paid to a Heritage Fund towards free education has been looted.
In response to allegations made, finance minister Tito Mboweni said the statement about stolen money is “untrue, sad and seems that he [Sexwale] was a victim of the many scams abound”.
“You cannot steal transmitted money from the central bank. How? His statement on television was unfortunate. Will reach out to him,” said Mboweni.
Inside Education on Monday reported that Sexwale said money from a Heritage Fund, donated by a “very wealthy family”, meant for the poor and to pay for free education, has been stolen.
In a television interview on Sunday, Sexwale said he is part of the two people that are mandated holders of the fund.
“It is a sensitive [issue] because we tried to resolve this. The Heritage Fund belongs to a very powerful family who donated the money towards health and free education.
“It [the money] comes through the South African Reserve Bank. But in the process that it is bought in the economy properly, we found some resistance. And when we checked the resistance, we found that some of this money has been stolen,” said Sexwale.
The ANC veteran went on to say a case was opened with the South African police and has been discussed with the current finance minister and the previous one.
In response to allegations made by Sexwale, both the National Treasury and the reserve bank said allegations made by Sexwale on alleged billions deposited at the SARB points to a common scam.
“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 COVID19 relief, social grants or grants for free education are simply empty promises, to secure the interest of the potential victim,” said the National Treasury and the SARB.
The National Treasury said it had previously received correspondence from Sexwale and many others that allege that billions of rands have been stolen from a fund that has been referred to as the ‘White Spiritual Boy Trust’, a trust supposedly set up by a foreign donor.
According to the National Treasury, the scam alleges that there are trillions of dollars in the said fund and that, inter alia, a certain Goodwin Erin Webb is the fund’s 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 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,” said the National Treasury.