EDINBURGH — President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma is a key figure in the #Zupta campaign to siphon funds out of state coffers. This is apparent as the investigative teams at amaBhungane and Scorpio make sense of correspondence contained in the most sensational information leak South Africa has possibly ever seen. The emails, dubbed #GuptaLeaks, contain evidence that prove allegations that President Jacob Zuma has allowed an immigrant family to pull the levers of political power and raid state coffers. Zuma’s son has been working directly with the Gupta family, using the Zuma name to further Gupta interests and living the life of a rich person as the benefits flow back to him. International money-laundering and tax evasion are in the mix as are hints that President Zuma has been making moves to live elsewhere. The #GuptaLeaks are critical as Zuma and his cronies have denied any wrongdoing while at the same time furthering their own interests at the expense of the economy, social stability and the maintenance of democracy. BizNews highlights some of the key facts that have emerged about Duduzane Zuma, as independent journalists work through the #GuptaLeaks information in the interests of serving as a check on power in the country’s highest office. – Jackie Cameron
President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma has played a central role in the relationship between the ANC leader and the Gupta family who have benefited from a strategy to tap state coffers.
Duduzane is one of five children President Zuma had with his second-wife Kate, who died at the age of 44 after taking an overdose of tablets. She left a note banning Jacob Zuma from her funeral and described her marriage to him as “24 years of hell”.
In 2010, when Zuma had three first ladies and was preparing to marry a fourth, Duduzane came out in support of his father’s womanising ways. According to the FT, he said: “We as a family are content with the polygamous nature of our household. It is my father’s right within the context of his culture to have as many children as he wishes.”
At the time, the 67-year-old president was believed to have about 20 sons and daughters. He divorced Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, now being groomed as a candidate to succeed her ex-husband as President, in 1998. Zuma has married at least six times and has had numerous other relationships, with speculation that SAA chief Dudu Myeni has special access to him.
Here’s a potted history of how Duduzane Zuma, now in his mid-30s, has worked hand-in-glove with the Gupta family.
Duduzane Zuma: Caught and captured
The Gupta family gave the then 18-year-old Duduzane Zuma a job as a computer trainee, reports City Press. His employers have rewarded him consistently since then, with extra financial perks including: air travel for a holiday to Mauritius with a girlfriend before he married and a lavish wedding at the five-star Zimbali Lodge to Shanice Stone.
The Sunday World reveals that plans for the wedding were handled “at the top” with the Guptas appointing Oakbay acting CEO Ronica Ragavan the “technical point of contact with suppliers and service providers”.
Do we have a monarchy now?
"South African president’s office will be represented… by his son H E Mr Duduzane Zuma”. #GuptaLeaks
— Ranjeni Munusamy (@RanjeniM) June 1, 2017
Gupta attorneys were roped in to deal with contracts and payments while Ragavan handled drawing up plans for the fancy function‚ “venue liaison and marquee dimensions and drawings etc”.
“Documents show that the Gupta family companies paid more than half a million rand for a stage and lighting for the event which included a three-metre floating stage in the massive pool at Zimbali,” says Sunday World.
The Guptas were also billed about R700‚000 for the renting of a full glass marquee for the event, says the weekend paper.
#GuptaLeaks emails also reveal that Duduzane Zuma received regular first-class air travel to Dubai, paid for by Gupta-owned Sahara Computers.
Perhaps the most conspicuous indicator of the benefits of state capture is the R18m apartment in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, that Duduzane has apparently scored. This apartment is close to where a R330m mansion has recently been bought for President Jacob Zuma, according to The Sunday Times.
Amabhungane says Duduzane bought the luxury apartment through Wens Holdings Ltd, co-owned with the Gupta family and registered in Dubai. This is after he was given residency of Dubai. Duduzane’s profession on the coveted residency permit documentation is listed as “investor” and his sponsor “Lion Gate Electronics Trading”.
In what some might see as a sign that President Jacob Zuma has been putting the wheels in motion to seek a safe – and very comfortable – haven beyond South Africa’s borders, the Gupta family intervened to write a letter on his behalf to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Moktoum. The documents indicate that President Jacob Zuma and his family intended to make the UAE “a second home”.
Zuma allegedly has a mansion in the same neighbourhood as: President Robert Mugabe and his wife ‘Gucci Grace’; and Asif Ali Zardari, husband of former Pakistan president Benazir Bhutto, who was was jailed for eight years for arms-deal corruption and money-laundering. Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, deposed in a coup in 2006 and jailed in absentia after being accused of corruption, tax evasion and abuse of power, is also a resident.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela suspects Duduzane Zuma is a rand billionaire, says the Sunday Times.
In her questions to Jacob Zuma for her state capture investigation, she asked the president if he was surprised at the sudden elevation “at a relatively young age” of his twins, Duduzane and Duduzile, to positions of directors in Sahara, a company owned by the Guptas, six months after he was elected ANC president, it notes.
It helps to be a VIP child. Duduzane Zuma, son of President Zuma is a rich businessman in SA. The Guptas took him under their wings. pic.twitter.com/81ygrOmNNn
— Paul Robert Cannell (@iWebPaul) June 6, 2017
Dishing the dirt on Duduzane Zuma
Other information that the #Guptaleaks emails tell us about Duduzane Zuma so far, according to Amabhungane, include that:
- The Guptas are on call for him. On the night of February 1, 2014, when Zuma lost control of his Porsche and slammed into the back of a minibus taxi, killing Phumzile Dube, the first person he telephoned was the youngest Gupta brother, Rajesh “Tony” Gupta.
- He is involved in a dirty propaganda offensive. He negotiated the details of a campaign run by London PR group Bell Pottinger – and paid for with a Gupta-linked cheque – to stir up racial tensions and run smear campaigns in order to build support for Jacob Zuma. For more on that, read ‘Evil mastermind Victoria Geoghegan: How does she sleep at night? #GuptaLeaks.
- He commands Gupta loyalty in love and war. One email chain documents how Duduzane Zuma enlisted the support of former newspaper editor and CEO of Gupta-owned Oakbay investments Nazeem Howa to respond to Sunday Sun questions about allegations he made another woman pregnant. “Later, company lawyer Gert van der Merwe provided advice on the terms of a R3.5m maintenance settlement for the child and his mother.”
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