Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Gold Fields link to Duduzile Zuma

Was one of President Jacob Zuma’s daughters cut into the controversial Gold Fields empowerment deal?

AmaBhungane has obtained an April 2011 declaration of assets by Duduzile Zuma, which included Gold Fields among shares that were “currently owned or to be acquired in the future”.

It is not certain whether Duduzile’s interest was through the company’s 2010 empowerment deal, though circumstantial evidence suggests it was.

Gold Fields refused to comment and Duduzile did not respond to questions about her interest in the company.

In a written response, a spokesperson for Gold Fields said: “The company is not commenting on this matter.”

Duduzile, who is the president’s daughter with the late Kate Zuma, did not respond to phone calls or SMS messages, nor to written questions delivered to her office.

Gold Fields has maintained a stony silence about its multibillion-rand empowerment transaction since amaBhungane revealed last month that an independent investigation commissioned by the company had found evidence of bribery.

In a report suppressed by the company, investigators from New York law firm Paul Weiss suggested that the company violated anti-graft laws when it cut various connected ­people into the black economic empowerment consortium Invictus Gold.

Paul Weiss believed this was either a corrupt payoff for their alleged help in influencing government to grant a crucial mining licence, or Gold Fields management was guilty of “wilfully ignoring” evidence of corruption.

The Gold Fields board has repeatedly maintained that the company acted legally.

Duduzile Zuma is not listed as one of the beneficiaries in details about the deal that the company released in March after pressure from directors and shareholders.

However, the Paul Weiss investigation found at least one example of “fronting”, allegedly to hide the true scope of the beneficiaries.

The investigators detailed how top managers were informed that a front company was used to conceal shares awarded to Eric Lucas, then a ­leading member of Parliament’s mineral resources committee, and Musa Zondi, then a fellow MP and secretary general of the Inkatha Freedom Party. They have never responded to the claims.

A gift of shares to Duduzile would not be inconsistent with the known facts about the deal.

lPaul Weiss found that Gold Fields cut in a number of well-connected people, who had been identified for the influence they were perceived to wield.

lAmong those tapped as known beneficiaries were several people said to be close to President Zuma, including Dudu Myeni, the executive chair of the Jacob Zuma Foundation; Colonel Nkosana Ximba, an associate of crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli – and someone who, according to Mdluli, was helpful to Zuma when he was charged with rape; and advocate Jerome Brauns SC, who represented Zuma during his rape trial.

lDuduzile is linked to the key architects of the empowerment deal: Gayton McKenzie (at the time part of a colourful business duo with Kenny Kunene) and Brauns, who leads Invictus Gold.

Duduzile, Kenny & Gayton
In her 2011 asset declaration, Duduzile indicated that she expected to obtain shares in an entity called ZAR Online.

In 2011, Kunene launched the ZAR Online entertainment website as an adjunct to the ZAR nightclub group he co-owned with McKenzie. They were awarded full media rights to cover Duduzile’s wedding in 2011 to businessman Lonwabo Sambudla – and both he and McKenzie attended the wedding.

McKenzie could not be reached for comment. Kunene told ama-Bhungane that he was not part of the Gold Fields deal and does not know whether Duduzile was approached: “I don’t know, I don’t know,” he said. “At the beginning of these transactions, lots of names are put forward. Not all of them are included in the actual deal – some are left out.”

Gold Fields has previously confirmed that Kunene did accompany McKenzie to “various meetings and visits”, but denied that Kunene was directly involved.

Kunene dismissed suggestions that Duduzile had been offered an interest in ZAR Online.

He said: “We spoke to her husband Lonwabo about exclusive coverage of the wedding and did photography and video, which we got paid for.”

Duduzile & Jerome
AmaBhungane has been told that, in late 2009, Brauns ordered the purchase of a shelf company that became known as Attractive Move Investments. Just days later, Rich Cove Investment – the entity that would become Brauns’ main vehicle in Invictus Gold – was also registered.

The timing suggests that both entities were conceived in relation to the Gold Fields project.

On October 1 2009, three people were introduced as directors of Attractive Move: Duduzile Zuma  and two other women, Mpho Litha and Sophie Ndaba.

Litha was at the time a human resources manager at Central Rand Gold, a mining company in which Brauns, Kunene and McKenzie were all involved.

Litha told amaBhungane that she was shocked to hear that she was listed as a director for Attractive Move: “I don’t know anything about that … that is literally news to me … I literally have no knowledge of what you’re asking me about.”

Ndaba, an actress and star of the Generations TV series, also expressed complete ignorance of her inclusion as a director of Attractive Move.

Ndaba recalled that she met Litha perhaps in 2010 and said she had met Duduzile on several occasions at various events, but added: “We are not friends. I don’t even have her number.”

Invictus Gold was registered with Brauns as the founding director on April 16 2010. On May 3 2010, the registered address for Attractive Move was changed to reflect the address of Brauns’ chambers in Durban.

On May 10 Gold Fields announced that the department of mineral resources had in principle approved its mining right and that a deal was being put together to comply with BEE requirements.

The Gold Fields empowerment share allocations were made in December 2010. Duduzile made her declaration of the shares less than five months later.

Brauns did not respond to emails or messages requesting comment.

* Got a tip-off for us about this story? Email [email protected]

The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Sam Sole Author
Guest Author
Tabelo Timse &
Guest Author
Sam Sole
Sam Sole works from South Africa. Journalist and managing partner of the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism. Digging dirt, fertilising democracy. Sam Sole has over 17731 followers on Twitter.
Stefaans Brummer
Stefaans is an old hand at investigations. A politics and journalism graduate, he cut his reporting teeth at the Cape Argus in the tumultuous early 1990s; then joined the Mail & Guardian as democracy dawned in April 1994. For the next 16 years a late-1990s diversion into television and freelancing apart, the M&G was his journalistic home and launch pad for award-winning investigations focusing on the nexus between politics and money. Stefaans has co-authored exposés including Oilgate, the Selebi affair, Chancellor House and significant breaks in the arms deal scandal. Stefaans and Sam Sole co-founded amaBhungane in 2010. He divides his time between the demands of media bureaucracy which he detests, coaching members of the amaBhungane team, and his first love, digging for dung.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Libyan town clings to memory of Gaddafi, 10 years on

Rebels killed Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte on 20 October 2011, months into the Nato-backed rebellion that ended his four-decade rule

Fishing subsidies in the W. Cape: ‘Illegal fishing is our...

Fishers claim they are forced into illegal trawling because subsidies only benefit big vessels

Kenya’s beach boys fall into sex tourism, trafficking

In the face of their families’ poverty, young men, persuaded by the prospect of wealth or education, travel to Europe with their older female sponsors only to be trafficked for sex
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×