THE ANC

Finweek English Edition - - The Finweek -

IN THE MID-NINETIES a dour-look­ing Nel­son Man­dela – then Pres­i­dent of the coun­try – rounded up the party faith­ful in a pri­vate con­clave at his Jo­han­nes­burg home to re­veal some bad news. The ANC’s op­er­at­ing costs had run off the cliff, Man­dela told the gath­er­ing, and noth­ing short of a Lotto jack­pot would sal­vage the wreck.

Word of the party’s fi­nan­cial mess must have spread quickly – and stretched the jack­pot metaphor to a lit­eral in­ter­pre­ta­tion – when a group of wise­crack­ers, al­legedly in­clud­ing busi­ness­man Hassen Adams of Cape Town, bolted to party head­quar­ters with a so­porific brain­wave: If the party en­dorsed SA’s most pres­ti­gious horser­ace (the Pres­i­dent’s Cup) the ANC could rake in “a sub­stan­tial amount of money” auc­tion­ing the sperm of Thor­ough­bred race­horses “at R20 000 per shot”. Jokes aside, it’s true...

We’ll prob­a­bly never know whether then ANC trea­surer Makhenkesi Stofile bought the idea to breed the beasts. We can only haz­ard that Stofile must have adapted the con­cept of player and ref­eree to a grander plan of punt­ing (not the four-legged va­ri­ety). Months later, Chan­cel­lor House Trust was born... and then Chan­cel­lor House Hold­ings.

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