Soko had described his dishing out of R200 notes to poor people as “money-laundering”, a criminal act, but now the influencial businessman has come back to respond.
PRET leader Themba ‘Masofa’ Sgudla has lashed out at Mpumalanga SANCO secretary Mike Soko, describing him as someone who needs prayer “in order to get assisted”.
“Comrade Soko needs prayer seriously,” Sgudla said over the phone. “And when you pray for him you need to close the door so that nobody disturbs and then pray harder. He needs God’s intervention seriously,” he said.
Sgudla was replying to a statement released by Soko on Wednesday this week in which he lambasted the dishing out of R200 notes by Sgudla to poor people during community meetings as “money-laundering”.
“SANCO views this distribution of money as utter money-laundering,” Soko said in a statement this week.
“SANCO therefore calls on the state security agencies to investigate and arrest these money-launderers with immediate effect,” he said.
But Sgudla said he was not fazed by Soko saying this of him.
“Ask him when I give him money doesn’t he take this as money-laundering, only when I give it to others then itís money-laundering,” Sgudla said.
“Yes I give Soko money. Not so long ago he asked for it when he met me in Nelspruit and I took it from my back pocket and gave him, was that†not money-laundering?” the businessman asked when talking to the 013NEWS reporter over the phone.
Sgudla said when Soko used to live in eMalahleni, leading SANCO, some years back before he started an funeral undertaker business he used to be “in my payroll”.
“I paid Soko around R10 000 when his life was very hard,” Sgudla told the reporter. “Wasn’t that money-laundering?”
“Look man I work for my money, I’ve made myself to be where I am today as a multi-millionaire at the age of 24 and when I give people money is out of good faith and assisting them to see what they can buy for themselves, though little but better than nothing and these are poor, unemployed people which we have formed PRET to assist to get economically empowered.
“For two years I was paying Soko while he lived in eMalahleni and when SANCO could not afford to give him a salary and I did that out of good faith because he was a good comrade of mine but today Soko has the audacity to go to the media and attack me. Why doesn’t he call me as usual and say, ‘look, comrade Sgudla you are erring here and there comrade, please correct,’ then I correct. Why doesn’t he do that anymore?” Sgudla asked.
Sgudla said he received calls from people from across the province “asking me whether I’m hearing Soko on SABC talking about me and PRETĒ.
“One of these people who called me was Ngrayi Ngwenya (eHlanzeni ANC regional chairman) and he said† to me please give me Soko’s numbers I want to ask him why he attacks you.
“I gave Soko’s numbers to Ngrayi and then myself I called Soko and I asked, ‘do you have problems with me?’ Soko said ‘no, I don’t. I can give you the record of my interview with SABC I didn’t say anything’. Then since I’ve been waiting for him to give me the record of his interview with the SABC, which he never did,” Sgudla said.
He said there is desperation by SANCO to try and gain relevance by attacking PRET.
He said PRET has over 1.5 million members across Mpumalanga and were currently busy launching other branches in Limpopo and Gauteng, which will have the number booming to more millions.
“Myself I was a member of SANCO, but I never in my life criticised it when I left. What is the relevance of SANCO today in our society? And what is the relevance of SANCO to the ANC?,” he asked.
“That is not a question to be answered by me but by the community who also accuses Soko of representing his own interests at the mines while claiming to be representing the community,” Sgudla said.
He also accused Soko of being unfair with the ANC, demanding deployment “as if the ANC is a party of deployments. Don’t force the ANC to do things for you but ask, ‘what can I do for the ANC’ and that is what all of us are doing. To assist the ANC become better and better each day and that is why we have made a pledge as PRET that we will deliver 15 million additional voters to the ANC next year. So he wants deployment and they even staged a walkout at the regional Alliance Summit in Ermelo, that’s being unfair to the ANC man. Very unfair,” Sgudla said.
“Other alliance partners didn’t leave. Only they left, why? They are unfair to the ANC,” he said.
“I’m neither disappointed nor surprised by what he is saying about me that I’m a money-launderer. I give people money out of good faith because that’s how God blesses the hand that gives,” he said.
(edited by ZK)
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