Danisa Baloyi and ‘donation’ friend in hot water over trip to Turkey

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Johannesburg – The suspended head of the Black Business Council (BBC), Danisa Baloyi, may find herself in more hot water after she allegedly attended an international women’s event in Turkey this month on behalf of the organisation.

Baloyi and businesswoman Hawa Bibi Khan attended the inaugural International Women’s Summit in Turkey on December 10, allegedly as representatives of the BBC.

However, the council has denied authorising the trip and has vowed to investigate the misrepresentation.

George Sebulela, secretary-general of the BBC, said the organisation was in the dark about the matter. “Baloyi has not been authorised to represent the BBC at any forum or in any activity whatsoever since her suspension,” he insisted.

“The BBC is not aware of any event in which she has continued to act on our behalf. If this is the case, it will be unfortunate that she is acting against the conditions of her suspension.”

Sebulela added that Khan was not even a member of the BBC. “She is not part of the BBC – and, if the women passed themselves off as senior representatives of the council at the conference in Turkey, it is unfortunate that they misled its organisers. The BBC will take action against the misrepresentation. We will be forced to investigate their participation.”

The Twitter account advertising the women’s summit calls the event UETD Women and goes by the twitter handle @UETDWomanUK.

On this Twitter account, Baloyi is billed as one of the speakers at the International Women’s Summit and is introduced as the president of the BBC. The topic of her address is titled “Powering women to greater heights for the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

Khan is billed on the same Twitter account as the executive director of the BBC and her talk is titled “Triumphing over war and human oppression with love/transformation/healing”.

Baloyi was suspended nine days before the event.

Her suspension, made public six days before the event, relates to a R5m donation made to the BBC by the Airports Company SA. The funds never reached the council’s coffers but instead, found their way into one of Khan’s companies, Merit Energy. Baloyi and Merit Energy are also facing fraud and theft charges, laid by the BBC.

It is not the first time Baloyi and Khan have been spotted on trips to Turkey. Both have previously undertaken trips to represent local business, as evidenced by a photo featuring the two women, tweeted in March by the Turkish ambassador.

Attempts to get hold of Baloyi and Khan proved fruitless.

A list of questions relating to the controversial trip was also sent to the Turkish embassy in Pretoria. It confirmed receiving the questions, but no response was forthcoming.

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