Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

‘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.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

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.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

South Africa breaking more temperature records than expected

The country’s climate is becoming ‘more extreme’ as temperature records are broken

Environmental groups welcome China’s pledge on coal

Will China’s end of coal finance be the final nail in the coffin for MMESZ?

More top stories

South Africa breaking more temperature records than expected

The country’s climate is becoming ‘more extreme’ as temperature records are broken

Environmentalists are trying to save South Africa’s obscure endangered species

Scientists are digging for De Winton’s golden moles, working on the mystery of the riverine rabbit and using mesh mattresses to save the unique Knysna seahorse

Shadow states infest Africa’s democracies

Two recent reports show evidence that democracy in Africa is being threatened by private power networks

The West owes Africa $100bn (at least) for climate recovery

In fewer than three days, a US citizen emits as much carbon as a person from Chad or Niger does in one year. Such is the asymmetry in culpability for climate change.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…