One of the more curious conduits was Iqbal Survé, best known for his control of the Independent Newspapers stable, and his Sekunjalo, best known for controversial government contracts.

ANC to pay to make Kebble dirt go away Mail & Guardian 11/12/2014

Is the president’s money theft story unimportant? No. It is important. The president must indeed answer through the law enforcement system and he said he would collaborate. But is the hysteria, including scenes in Parliament by MPs who include persons currently charged in courts of law, warranted? What is interesting is that though the phrase ‘money laundering’ is bandied about, none of the facts alleged by Mr Arthur Fraser support that allegation.

Thuli Madonsela News 24 17/6/2022

The cleansing role that the Fourth Estate can play in advanced democracies was illustrated when Jacques Pauw published South Africa’s best-selling book, The President’s Keepers.

  • Pauw was vindicated when Arthur Fraser organised the unlawful release from prison of former President Jacob Zuma;
  • He was further vindicated with the release of the final chapter of the Zondo Commission’s State Capture Report on the night of 22 June.

Fraser’s transactional anti-CR17 relationship with the Iqbal Survé- linked ANA news service was laid bare in the Project Wave evidence before the Zondo Commission. He personally laundered  R20 million from a secret SSA slush fund to ANA which  continues to fulfil its brief.

For the past few weeks everyone has known what was coming which is why, seeking to pre-empt Zondo’s final report, Arthur Fraser laid charges against Cyril Ramaphosa on 2 June. The manner in which this was done, two years after the Phala Phala farm theft is, to say the least, questionable.

Ever since then, Sekunjalo Independent Media newspapers and its IOL website have been replete with articles suggesting South Africa’s President is a money launderer and calls for his bank accounts to be closed.

The claims of Ramaphosa’s alleged money laundering are moot but what Sekunjalo would surely like you to forget in this context is an article published in the Mail & Guardian in December 2014 which raises precisely this question.

Stolen money

It details how Iqbal Survé acknowledged at a 2006 insolvency inquiry that he had forwarded R500 000 of Brett Kebble’s stolen money to the ANC using his personal and Sekunjalo bank accounts.

Make of that what you will but, if his confession at that hearing seems to you to be a prima facie example of money laundering, there might be substance to your concern.

There is however a night-and-day difference between the Kebble/Survé/ANCYL transaction and the current imbroglio involving the alleged ‘Farming Forex Fraudster’.

As Thuli Madonsela points out in one of the anchor quotes to this article, the claims of money laundering are, as yet, unproven and no evidence has been provided that the stolen Phala Phala  money was, in itself, the proceeds of any criminal endeavour.

In stark contrast, the money which moved from the utterly-corrupt Brett Kebble, through the personal and company bank accounts of his business associate, Iqbal Survé, during a period when ANC Youth League luminaries such as Fikile Mbalula and Malusi Gigaba were in the ascendancy, was definitely stolen and that is common cause.

Kebble’s attempts to buy political protection from the ANC is a matter of noseweek record and was well received by the ANC members with whom he associated.

Here’s the relevant extract from the above-mentioned Mail & Guardian article:

In 2006, when asked by an insolvency inquiry about R870 000 Kebble had given him, Survé said: “To the best of my recollection, and I have to admit that I am not entirely certain about this, but these funds that came to be forwarded to the ANC for me … I think it was one of the ANC anniversary celebrations that occurred, I can’t remember which one, and I subsequently decided not to forward the money and in fact to return it … I opted not to be party to the funding of the ANC in this way.”

When the Western Cape ANC was in desperate need of cash, Survé said, he agreed to front it money that came via Kebble, because of “a timing issue”. Despite the implication that money from Kebble would, for some reason, not clear banking delays in time (whereas money from Survé, for some reason, would), Survé ended up ­receiving R500 000 from Kebble two weeks before Survé himself passed on R100 000, and the full disbursement would take months.

As some suppliers demanded company cheques from Sekunjalo rather than his personal cheques, Survé said, money ended up passing from Kebble’s companies to Kebble’s control, from there to Survé, who set it off against a Sekunjalo account, so that some suppliers to the ANC were paid by Sekunjalo, with the trail only unravelling through forensic auditing years later – Phillip de Wet

Survé has not denied the gravamen of this article nor sought legal redress against the Mail & Guardian and its reporter, Phillip de Wet.

Prior to the Nasrec convention in 2017 it became obvious that the Fraser-controlled SSA had hacked Ramaphosa’s computer system and was drip-feeding information to his opponents.

This included having a grabber in place at the convention – a story for another day – but, as Qaanitah Hunter points out on the News 24 website

People in the know credit Fraser for those CR17 emails showing up at the door of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

This has not been denied, neither has she been sued.

The anti-CR17 campaign by  Fraser, Mkhwebane and Sekunjalo ended in a ConCourt defeat just as a previous campaign against leading executives of SARS had also ended in court defeat.

Ramaphosa’s SSA-hacked emails first appeared, however, in the Sunday Independent, one of Iqbal Survé’s newspapers which was edited at the time by Steve Motale.

Motale had left his previous employer, The Citizen, after publishing an apology to Jacob Zuma in that newspaper which so impressed Iqbal Survé that he ordered that it be republished on the IOL website. Motale now works for Lindiwe Sisulu whose opposition to Ramaphosa is a matter of record.

Devoid of Truth

Motale’s Sunday Independent article, which portrayed Ramaphosa as a sexual predator and was clearly intended to harm his chances at Nasrec, proved to be devoid of truth and here’s what Ramaphosa said at the time:

“But I am being targeted and smeared. Basically, state institutions have been utilised to hack into my private e-mails. State institutions should never be utilised to fight political battles.”

Piet ‘Tembisa Ten’ Rampedi says Sekunjalo is not in the business of ‘muting unpopular voices’. Will he be investigating the self-acknowledged illicit money flows from the country’s most notorious white collar criminal, through his employer’s bank accounts to ANC Youth League members who, subsequently, have not proven to be pillars of ethical probity? Or will he be focusing on the disgraced Arthur Fraser’s as-yet unproven allegation that Cyril Ramaphosa is guilty of money laundering?

I suppose it depends on how you define money laundering.

Brett Kebble?



To those who, for the past seven years, have willingly participated in the violation of journalism’s ethical norms at Sekunjalo Independent Media and ANA, I leave you Liz Cheney’s recent message to her fellow Republicans: There will come a day when Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”


The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the Daily Friend or the IRR

If you like what you have just read, support the Daily Friend


Ed Herbst is an author and veteran journalist.