Monday, 26 April 2021 15:56

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

File:Tokyo Sexwale speaks at the launch of "The Life of a Legend" gold and silver coin series that the SA Mint has created to honour Nelson Mandela at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton Johannesburg; 4 March 2014. Picture Neil McCartney.

The Hawks specialised crime unit says that it is officially investigating two cases of alleged theft – totalling over R41 quadrillion.

The claims match with allegations made by senior ANC official Tokyo Sexwale last week, where he alleged that an obscene amount of money had been stolen from the public coffers.

While not directly mentioning Sexwale by name, the Hawks said that the cases were opened by an individual claiming to be appointed by the presidency as a forensic investigator.

The complainant submitted two documents – one at 101 pages, and another at 213 pages – alleging that funds were looted and lost to money laundering, fraud and other serious crimes.

In the first case, the complainant stated that he was appointed as a forensic investigator on 6 May 2013 by the Presidency. In support of his appointment, a two-page document signed by the erstwhile employee of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) was attached as part of the 101-page document.

The purported authority included documents titled Power of Attorney signed by numerous representatives of tribal authorities.

In this case, the complainant reports theft of gold worth one hundred and sixty three trillion rand  (R163,000,000,000,000) which was recorded between 1966 and 2021.

The DPSA indicated that its former employee did not have authority to sign the letter, which is now used by the complainant.

In the second case, the same complainant stated that he was appointed by the Presidency through the DPSA on 6 May 2013.

In this case, he reports, in his 213-page document, the allegations of money laundering, fraud, theft under false pretences, high treason and racketeering.

The amount lost is recorded as forty one quadrillion three hundred and thirteen billion one hundred and four million rand  (R41,380,513,104,000,000).

"The theft includes the alleged monies stolen from former African leader Gadaffi which was investigated and found to be untrue," the Hawks said.

In response to the allegations, the Hawks said it is 'systematically searching for the truth'.

"Other allegations are reported to be the withholding of White Spiritual Boy and Spiritual Wonder Boy Accounts.

"Concerns include loaning money from International Monetary Fund (IMF) at high-interest rate when countries have enormous reserves in terms of White Spiritual Boy and Spiritual Wonder Boy Accounts."

The Hawks said it has taken note of internet reports relating to "White Spiritual Boy and Spiritual Wonder Boy Accounts" across the globe.

"The national head of the DPCI, Lieutenant General Lebeya has personally perused the files and directed closer collaborations on the investigators of four matters that requires similar attention.

"They shall be working closely with the prosecutors that handled these allegations in the past. The Hawks shall leave no stone unturned before reaching any conclusion on these matters."

Original Claim

Sexwale’s allegations were first made in an interview with ENCA, where he said that billions of rands were deposited with the South African Reserve Bank from a so-called 'heritage fund', which had subsequently gone missing.

He said that the fund itself contained trillions of rands that were used by African nations for philanthropic and development purposes.

However, responding to the statements, the SARB said it had no record of the money or the fund itself, saying that it was likely that the businessman was scammed.

It said it had previously received correspondence from Sexwale and many others alleging that billions of rands have been stolen from a fund that has been referred to as the ‘White Spiritual Boy Trust’ and which was set up by a foreign donor.

Subsequent investigations by the SARB confirmed 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.

In a press briefing last week, Sexwale doubled down on the allegations, saying he had documents proving that money went missing, and that he had a case number with the SAPS showing that it was being investigated.