The African National Congress (ANC) has returned a hot financial donation back to businessman Iqbal Survé.
Survé announced on Monday that he had made a hefty
contribution to the ANC’s electoral campaign efforts in the Western Cape.
Through his company, Sekunjalo Investments, which has a vested interest in
South African media, Survé offered the ANC financial support, estimated to be
worth R1 million.
Details of Survé’s dubious donation
The donation, which Survé said was offered as a show of support for ‘progressive forces’, elicited both political and public outrage. It’s no secret that the businessman has been embroiled in an on-going investigation into corruption concerning the Public Investment Corporation. In addition, the fact that Survé also has a stake in Independent Media has reignited speculation of publishing bias.
Survé hit back at his detractors, arguing that the payment
was transparent and fair. He also added that he wanted nothing in return from
the ruling party.
Western Cape ANC: ‘Thanks, but no thanks, Dr Iqbal Survé’
African National Congress in the Western Cape Returns donation from Dr Iqbal Survé.
— ANC Western Cape_ (@ANCWesternCape_) May 7, 2019
Still, public pressure on the ANC – especially in light of
the imminent election – proved to be too much to bear. On Wednesday afternoon,
less than 24-hours before the sixth democratic election, the Western Cape
branch of the ruling party announced that it would be returning the investment.
The statement, issued by Khaya Magaxa, Acting Chair of the
ANC in the Western Cape Province, said:
“The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape has decided to return the donation made by the philanthropist and media tycoon, Dr Iqbal Survé. Accordingly, the Provincial Treasurer has been instructed to execute this decision immediately.”
The ANC in the region admitted that the Commission of
Inquiry into allegations of corruption and malfeasance had a role to play in
its final decision. The party did, however, say that, in light of the imminent elections,
it didn’t have ‘enough time’ to conduct a fair assessment of Survé’s donation.
The statement elaborated:
“Due to the fact that this [donation] happened mere three days before the election, we had no time to do such an assessment to consider how such a donation would be perceived given the revelations made at the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of impropriety regarding the Public Investment Corporation.”
The statement ended by noting that although the party needed
the financial assistance it was better to do the ‘right thing’ and return the