Gang­ster Repub­lic

Dirty cig­a­rette money is fund­ing NDZ’s bid for pres­i­dent

Sunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By JAC­QUES PAUW

A self-con­fessed smug­gler, fraud­ster and money laun­derer has emerged as a con­trib­u­tor to ANC pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s bid to re­place her ex-hus­band, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

This and other as­tound­ing in­for­ma­tion about se­cret pay­ments to other mem­bers of the Zuma fam­ily, in­clud­ing the pres­i­dent and his son Ed­ward, is con­tained in a sen­sa­tional new book pub­lished to­day. The Pres­i­dent’s Keep­ers re­veals among other things that:

Ja­cob Zuma — while he was pres­i­dent — was for a pe­riod paid R1-mil­lion a month by a se­cu­rity com­pany that be­longs to a crony and friend;

The pres­i­dent failed to sub­mit his tax re­turns dur­ing at least the first five years of his pres­i­dency; and

Sus­pected tobacco smug­glers paid tens of thou­sands of rands ev­ery month for sev­eral years to Zuma’s son Ed­ward for his po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence.

Dlamini-Zuma ig­nores warn­ing

The book also re­veals that flam­boy­ant and con­tro­ver­sial cig­a­rette man­u­fac­turer Adri­ano Maz­zotti has pre­sented Dlamini-Zuma with an ar­ray of elec­tion para­pher­na­lia, in­clud­ing elec­tion caps and shirts.

In an af­fi­davit that Maz­zotti signed in May 2014, he ad­mits his com­plic­ity and that of his com­pany, Carnil­inx, in a host of crimes, in­clud­ing fraud, money laun­der­ing, cor­rup­tion, tax eva­sion and bribery.

Maz­zotti and Carnil­inx are also said have con­trib­uted cash to Dlamini-Zuma’s cam­paign.

In a record­ing made of Maz­zotti he boasts of his friend­ship with for­mer state se­cu­rity min­is­ter David Mahlobo, who was re­cently ap­pointed en­ergy min­is­ter. Mahlobo this week de­clined to com­ment. Maz­zotti, a close friend of EFF leader Julius Malema, says on the tape that Mahlobo asked him to spy on Malema.

He agreed, and on the tape, claims he is “play­ing both sides”.

He also says he is “un­touch­able” and that his con­tacts in high places have made his tax prob­lems all but dis­ap­pear.

The State Se­cu­rity Agency picked up that Maz­zotti was talk­ing widely about his re­la­tion­ship with Mahlobo and started in­ves­ti­gat­ing him.

It was then that agents dis­cov­ered Maz­zotti’s close re­la­tion­ship with DlaminiZuma.

Maz­zotti had also been show­ing off pho­to­graphs of him­self and Dlamini-Zuma. In one he has his arm around her and an­other shows peaked caps em­bla­zoned with “NDZ” and “Rad­i­cal Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion”.

The SSA is said to have warned DlaminiZuma about her re­la­tion­ship with Maz­zotti, but she re­jected the ad­vice, say­ing that he had never been con­victed of any crime.

How­ever, in the af­fi­davit Maz­zotti made in 2014 while his and Carnil­inx’s tax af­fairs were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the South African Rev­enue Ser­vice, he says: “In its drive to pro­mote its busi­ness, Carnil­inx en­tered into a host of trans­ac­tions, some of which were law­ful and oth­ers cor­rupt and un­law­ful.”

He ad­mits wrong­do­ing and tells how the com­pany “un­law­fully and wrong­fully” smug­gled tons of tobacco to avoid pay­ing ex­cise duty, and set up money-laun­der­ing fa­cil­i­ties to avoid pay­ing taxes.

Maz­zotti says in his af­fi­davit that he handed R820 000 in cash to a prom­i­nent Jo­han­nes­burg at­tor­ney, to be used to bribe for­mer SARS in­ves­ti­ga­tions head Jo­hann van Log­geren­berg and for­mer act­ing com­mis­sioner Ivan Pil­lay. The at­tor­ney, how­ever, pock­eted the money.

Then Maz­zotti bribed a ju­nior SARS of­fi­cial to get doc­u­ments to strengthen his hand dur­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions with the tax collector. Maz­zotti says in the af­fi­davit that it was “wrong” to pay a “gift” of R500 000 in cash to a prom­i­nent se­nior ad­vo­cate and act­ing judge.

He says that Carnil­inx pro­poses that it pleads guilty ac­cord­ing to sev­eral of­fences un­der the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dures Act.

Monthly pay­ments to ‘Nthanthla’

SARS pre­sented Maz­zotti and Carnil­inx with a tax bill of R600-mil­lion in 2014.

But SARS “nailed” Maz­zotti be­fore Tom Moy­ane, a close Zuma con­fi­dant, was ap­pointed SARS com­mis­sioner to­wards the end of that year. Moy­ane purged the tax collector of some of its top ex­ec­u­tives, among them Pil­lay and Van Log­geren­berg, both of whom were in­volved in tax in­ves­ti­ga­tions against Ja­cob Zuma, Ed­ward Zuma and a host of cronies and associates.

Af­ter Maz­zotti’s af­fi­davit, Carnil­inx was down and just about out for the count. All that had to hap­pen was for a fi­nal set­tle­ment fig­ure to be de­ter­mined, which would have been sev­eral hun­dred mil­lion rands.

Be­fore this could hap­pen, Van Log­geren­berg, Pil­lay and a host of se­nior of­fi­cials at SARS were gone.

SARS has so far failed to en­force the R600-mil­lion tax bill against Maz­zotti and Carnil­inx.

Maz­zotti de­nied this week that he was spon­sor­ing Dlamini-Zuma’s elec­tion cam­paign.

He also de­nied the many ad­mis­sions of crim­i­nal acts he makes in his 2014 af­fi­davit and said his “tax mat­ters are priv­i­leged and strictly pri­vate”. He said he and Carnil­inx were tax com­pli­ant.

Other mem­bers of the Zuma clan, among them Ed­ward, re­ceived money from cig­a­rette man­u­fac­tur­ers that SARS in­ves­ti­gated for money laun­der­ing, fraud and tax eva­sion.

Al­leged tobacco smug­gler Yusuf Ka­jee and two busi­ness part­ners paid tens of thou­sands of rands ev­ery month for sev­eral years to, among oth­ers, Ed­ward and no­to­ri­ous Dur­ban un­der­world fig­ure and long­time Zuma fam­ily as­so­ciate Lloyd Hill. On October 5 2011 at 04.39.29am, for ex­am­ple, one of the smug­glers sent this mes­sage to Ed­ward: “Morn­ing chief I need your bank de­tails to do sumt­ing into that ac­count.” Ed­ward replied at 04.51.15am on the same day and pro­vided his ac­count num­ber and de­tails, among them: “e m zuma fnb florida branch”. In Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary 2010, R66 880.81 was paid to Ed­ward and Hill. The fol­low­ing month, R76 278.81 was paid out and in April 2010 R75 830.81. This in­cluded a pay­ment of R20 000 in cash for Ed­ward and R10 000 for “Nthanthla”. “Nthanthla” was the code word for Nkandla, the pres­i­dent’s home­stead in north­ern KwaZulu-Natal. In May 2010, an amount of R101 830.81 — again R10 000 for “Nthanthla” — was paid out, and in June and July a to­tal of R35 830.81 for each month. The amount for Au­gust 2010 was R58 267.81. Ed­ward did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment this week. Maz­zotti counts among his for­mer busi­ness associates con­victed drug dealer Glenn Agliotti, Cape Town gang­sters Mark Lif­man and Jerome “Donkie” Booy­sen, and apartheid as­sas­sin Craig Wil­liamson (who, in­ci­den­tally, mur­dered two of Dlamini-Zuma’s com­rades, Ruth First and Jeanette Schoon, and her lit­tle daugh­ter, in the 1980s with let­ter bombs).

Since Au­gust this year, Dlamini-Zuma’s ral­lies have been flooded with “NDZ” Tshirts and black and white “NDZ” caps. Maz­zotti owns a cloth­ing com­pany.

Dlamini-Zuma is as­so­ci­at­ing her­self with a tobacco man­u­fac­turer hav­ing listed as one of her achieve­ments that she spear­headed leg­is­la­tion to ban smok­ing in pub­lic places when she was health min­is­ter in the ’90s.

And while her sup­port­ers rage about the evils of “white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal”, only one of Carnil­inx’s di­rec­tors is not white.

At the time of go­ing to press, Dlamini-Zuma — ap­proached via her spokes­woman on Fri­day — had not re­sponded to re­quests for com­ment.

Maz­zotti re­cently bought a mine. In Fe­bru­ary, he be­came a founder mem­ber and di­rec­tor of Dithabeng Min­ing, an open­cast mine in Mphahlele, 45km south­east of Polok­wane in Lim­popo.

The com­pany’s state­ment on the web­site could as well have been writ­ten by Gupta acolyte Min­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Mosebenzi Zwane. The web­site says that “now, more than ever be­fore, a shift through rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion is re­quired”.

The di­rec­tors de­clare that the com­pany “sub­scribes fully” to Zwane’s con­tro­ver­sial 2017 Min­ing Char­ter.

Maz­zotti’s re­la­tion­ship with Malema is well-known and in his af­fi­davit, Maz­zotti says that Carnil­inx made a “do­na­tion” of R200 000 “to­wards a po­lit­i­cal party”. The af­fi­davit refers to Malema and the EFF.

In 2015 SARS al­leged that Malema used a R1-mil­lion loan from a Carnil­inx di­rec­tor, Kyle Phillips, to pay his tax debt.

Malema said yes­ter­day he was not aware that Maz­zotti was asked to spy on him, but said he wasn’t sur­prised be­cause Mahlobo “has been go­ing around ask­ing peo­ple for in­for­ma­tion about me”.

Nei­ther the SSA nor SARS re­sponded to re­quests for com­ment.

The only re­sponse from the Pres­i­dency was: “All dec­la­ra­tions were made to the rel­e­vant bod­ies.”

Ja­cob Zuma, with be­hind him, from left, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma with Adri­ano Maz­zotti’s hand around her shoul­der; Roy Mood­ley and Glenn Agliotti

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