/ 15 March 1999


AMERICAN pop star Michael Jackson’s infatuation with Southern Africa will culminate next week in a deal to buy almost a third of the giant hotel, casino and leisure group Sun International, which owns one of Jackson’s favourite hotels, Sun City. Jackson and his business associate, powerful black US gaming industry entrepeneur Don Barden, will fly to South Africa to sign a deal to buy out the 27% share in Sun International held by the North West Development Corporation, for which he is likely to pay up to R400 million. In the past six months Jackson has flown into Southern African capitals at regular intervals, and has been associated with leisure industry deals in Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Namibia. He is also reported to have bought as many as 670 animals from southern Africa, including two baby elephants.