‘Who is scamming who?’: Sexwale says White Spiritual Boy Trust is real

“I don’t suffer fools,” Tokyo Sexwale said on Thursday during a press briefing about the White Spiritual Boy Trust, which the ANC veteran and businessman insisted exists despite information suggesting it is a scam.

Sexwale told the media that the upper echelons of the ANC and government had known about the fund for two years.

ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, President Cyril Ramaphosa and South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago knew about the fund since 2019, Sexwale said.

He read out a 2019 letter that he said he wrote to Mboweni about the fund, which is based in Singapore. Ramaphosa and Kganyago were copied in the letter. But Sexwale said he was left “high and dry”.

“I go in trust and confidence to my old comrades and they go to journalists,” Sexwale said, referring to a tweet by Mboweni and a subsequent joint statement by the treasury and the Reserve Bank calling the fund a scam.

Mboweni and the statement were responding to an eNCA interview in which Sexwale claimed that money from the fund was stolen. In the interview, Sexwale said he and a very powerful family had raised billions of rands to clear student debt and for the fight against Covid-19. 

Following the interview, Mboweni tweeted: “Mr Tokyo Sexwale’s statement about stolen money is untrue, sad and seems that he was a victim of the many scams [that] abound. You cannot steal transmitted money from the central bank. How? His statement on television was unfortunate. Will reach out to him.”

The treasury and Reserve Bank statement read: “Any claim that such funds are meant for deserving causes such as Covid-19 relief, social grants or grants for free education are simply empty promises, to secure the interest of the potential victim.”

According to the statement, the Reserve Bank’s investigation found no record of the fund and Sexwale was advised in writing that it was likely a scam. 

“If Mr Sexwale believes otherwise, the onus is on him and his unknown sponsor to provide independent written proof of the existence and/or transfer of such funds, as well as certified copies of actual identification and citizenship of such ‘donors’ … Allegations of theft of non-existent funds have no validity.”

But on Thursday, Sexwale insisted the fund existed and said he gets paid by it.

He also doubled down on his claim that the money in the trust had been tampered with. “The truth is stubborn,” he said.

Sexwale said the money from the fund had been moved around through commercial banks to other jurisdictions. The money is now being returned to South Africa in the form of investments, he claimed. Sexwale added that he had proof of money laundering.

He urged journalists to investigate the claims.

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Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

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