Kebble trustees follow the money
The trustees of Brett Kebble’s estate are going to court to try and reclaim a R250 000 donation the slain mining magnate made to the ANC, City Press reported on Sunday.
According to the claim, to be heard in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Friday, Kebble paid the African National Congress the money on April 30 2004 “at or near Cape Town”.
The trustees argue that no value was received in return for the money, and can thus be reclaimed. The ANC however argues in its court papers that “Kebble obtained the benefit of access to political decision makers and lawmakers that would be beneficial to him both directly and indirectly by virtue of its benefits to the companies in which he had an interest”.
The money further enabled Kebble “to promote for his benefit and that of those companies in which he had an interest conditions more favourable for the conduct of his business and those of the companies in which he had an interest”.
The ANC further argues that if Kebble paid the money, his assets exceeded his liabilities immediately after the transaction. According to the Insolvency Act, donations cannot be made if liabilities exceed assets.
Kebble was shot dead in September 2005, in an “assisted suicide” carried out by self-confessed hitmen Mikey Schultz, Faizel Smith and Nigel McGurk.
The book Killing Kebble, by journalist Mandy Wiener, told of how Kebble was one of Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s earliest mentors, coaching him on what to say and how to say it at ANC Youth League rallies
The book, released last year, said Kebble was a known benefactor of youth league leaders at the time, notably, Andile Nkuhlu and Lunga Ncwana.
In the early 2000s Mbalula was preparing to become league president and spent much time at Kebble’s home in the upmarket Johannesburg suburb of Atholl.
Wiener quotes Kebble’s butler, Andrew Minnaar, who provided “scandalous recollections” of Mbalula’s behaviour during visits to Kebble’s house.
Minnaar told Wiener that Kebble bought pay-as-you-go cellphones for the league members and would use only specific handsets to communicate with them.
“Brett was coaching the ANC Youth League and those phones were bought particularly for a youth league rally so Brett could stay in touch with them in terms of what they’d say, how they’d say it, what would happen.
“Fikile was here often.
He’d come here and in like an hour he’d finish a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label. Flat. Flat,” Minnaar told Wiener. “They were like children in the house. They’d always be looking for something to eat and would drink only champagne.”
Minnaar remembers a Christmas party at Kebble’s home that “was like a children’s party the way they were behaving. Fikile was quite arrogant. He treated me just like a thing.”
Mbalula told the Mail & Guardian at the time that was outraged at Minnaar’s comments, saying he was used to the good life before he met Kebble.
“Socially I wasn’t a moegoe. Minnaar is a shameless moron who wants to be rich at the expense of a dead man. If there’s anybody who is coached it is him. He is coached by the [now defunct] Scorpions, those are his handlers.”
Kebble’s former personal assistant, Laura Sham, confirmed Minnaar’s version of events to Wiener. “They’d be fine when they arrived, but the more they drank, they’d become hooligans. I knew Fikile drank quite a bit. They behaved like absolute hooligans.”
Mbalula turned out to be a fair-weather friend. Sham remembers the day Kebble’s youth league associates refused to acknowledge him or his financial support for them.
“He gave them R4-million for their conference one year. Brett’s name was in the papers a lot at the time and he wasn’t looking good. They actually said to him ‘please don’t come to the conference’ after he funded their conference ... Brett came into the office and he was so downtrodden. He said to me: ‘How quickly they forget’ — It was a slap in the face.”
Former youth league leaders deny this, claiming that Kebble was invited to the 2004 conference at Nasrec outside Johannesburg but decided not to attend. After Kebble’s death in 2005, the trustees of his estate reportedly sent letters of demand to the ANC and Ncwana, who they claim owed the estate R14-million. Ncwana claimed that the money from Kebble was payment for services he had rendered to Kebble’s company, JCI. - Sapa and Staff reporter