Tuesday 26 September 2017

Duduzane Zuma to sell shares said to be worth R850m, in Gupta firms

Duduzane Zuma to sell shares said to be worth R850m, in Gupta firms
(Business Day 09/12/17)

Leaked e-mails show that President Jacob Zuma’s son has been deeply immersed in the Gupta family firms, having received help from them to buy an expensive home in Dubai and to pay for his wedding

Duduzane Zuma says he is in the process of selling his shares in Gupta-owned Oakbay companies.

The son of President Jacob Zuma has been deeply immersed in the Gupta family and their businesses, leaked Gupta e-mails show. They tell of the family helping him buy an expensive home in Dubai, to organise and pay for his wedding and to clean up messes in his personal life.

He was a director of 21 companies but has resigned from the boards of most of them in the past year. He is still a director of seven companies that seem to have stopped trading. However, it is believed that through his company Mabengela Investments, he owns nearly R850m worth of shares in Gupta-owned companies.

In August, Oakbay announced that it was selling its media assets — Infinity Media and TNA — to Mzwanele Manyi. The group was also in the process of selling its mining asset Tegeta. Duduzane Zuma had shares in all the companies.

The sale of assets by the Gupta family was linked to the closure of their accounts by the banks.

In an open letter sent to former finance minister Pravin Gordhan in August, Duduzane Zuma said all of his bank accounts had also been shut. He also accused Gordhan of using constitutional structures such as the Financial Intelligence Centre and the South African Reserve Bank "to destroy" him and "his business colleagues".

On Tuesday, Zuma announced that the money from the shares in the media businesses would go to a youth development programme.

Manyi, who is believed to have grossly overpaid for the media assets, committed to paying R300m for ANN7 news channel and R150m for a two-thirds stake in TNA Media, the publisher of The New Age. The deal is vendor financed through a loan from Oakbay Investments.

It is not clear how Zuma’s new youth programme will be set up, but he said it would focus on "creating real and sustainable jobs".

"While this new programme has a specific interest in graduates, it will be for all young people, male and female, regardless of background," he said.

Zuma said he would provide more details of the project in coming weeks.

GENEVIEVE QUINTAL

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