Smoked out!

We un­cover proof of meet­ings be­tween ‘mama Zuma’ and her ‘se­cret back­ers’

Sunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By MZILIKAZI wa AFRIKA

Pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Nkosazana DlaminiZuma met self-con­fessed to­bacco smug­gler Adri­ano Maz­zotti and his busi­ness as­so­ciates more than the one time he claims he met her — and here’s the proof.

In­sta­gram pho­to­graphs prove at least two meet­ings, while a third shows an as­so­ciate of the dodgy ty­coon em­brac­ing Dlamini-Zuma, ap­par­ently taken in Greece. The oth­ers show Maz­zotti and Dlamini-Zuma in Lon­don and in Sand­ton.

Un­der one of the pho­to­graphs, gam­bling ty­coon Philip Anas­tas­sopou­los ex­claims: “An­other nice day with mama Zuma.”

Last week Maz­zotti claimed he had only met the pres­i­den­tial hope­ful once.

The pho­to­graphs and the new in­for­ma­tion sug­gest a much closer re­la­tion­ship be­tween Dlamini-Zuma and Maz­zotti.

Maz­zotti and gam­bling tycoons Philip and Pho­tios Anas­tas­sopou­los — who own Su­pa­bets — are said to have taken Dlamini-Zuma to the UK and Greece ear­lier this year to try to raise funds for her pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

Pho­tios, who is also a nonex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Phumelela Gam­ing and Leisure, posted a photo of him­self, Maz­zotti and Dlamini-Zuma on his In­sta­gram ac­count on March 25, claim­ing he “had a good week with mama Zuma and Adri­ano in Lon­don”.

On Fe­bru­ary 4, Pho­tios posted an­other photo with Dlamini-Zuma and stated: “Lovely spend­ing an­other day with mama Zuma.”

Dlamini-Zuma, through her spokesman, Vukani Mthintso, yes­ter­day de­nied knowl­edge of Maz­zotti and the Anas­tas­sopou­los broth­ers’ con­tribut­ing to her cam­paign, although she con­ceded she had met with Maz­zotti while on a trip in Lon­don.

“There are mil­lions of sup­port­ers and well-wish­ers to the cam­paign, which is led by the ANC Women’s League and sup­ported by other struc­tures. Many make con­tri­bu­tions, ei­ther by vol­un­teer­ing their time or in kind to the struc­tures,” he said.

Dlamini-Zuma also de­nied that she had “any di­rect or sub­stan­tive re­la­tion­ship” with the self-con­fessed cig­a­rette smug­gler.

“She has never ap­proached him for any as­sis­tance, nor has he ap­proached her and of­fered as­sis­tance with her cam­paign. The two oc­ca­sions she met him were chance meet­ings, where there were other per­sons at the same event,” Mthintso added.

Sources told the Sun­day Times this week that Maz­zotti and the Anas­tas­sopou­los broth­ers have been fund­ing Dlamini-Zuma’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

“Dlamini-Zuma has been hav­ing se­cret meet­ings with these guys twice per month be­hind her cam­paign team’s back be­cause she knows they won’t be com­fort­able work­ing with these con­tro­ver­sial fig­ures,” a

The pic­tures that tell the story of NDZ and the cig­a­rette smug­gler who is sup­port­ing her bid to be­come our next pres­i­dent

source said.

“Maz­zotti and Pho­tios have been shar­ing their pri­vate pho­tos from these meet­ings with Dlamini-Zuma with their busi­ness as­so­ciates while lob­by­ing them to chip in some money for her cam­paign,” an­other source said.

The Sun­day Times has seen some of the pho­tos. One of them is be­lieved to have been taken at one of Maz­zotti’s apart­ments in Sand­ton about a month ago.

The Sun­day Times re­ported last week that Maz­zotti show­ered Dlamini-Zuma with an

She has been hav­ing se­cret meet­ings with these guys twice per month Con­fi­den­tial source

ar­ray of elec­tion para­pher­na­lia for her ANC pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

This week the news­pa­per was shown pho­tos of NDZ cam­paign para­pher­na­lia be­lieved to have been taken at one of Maz­zotti’s prop­er­ties.

“If Maz­zotti claims he isn’t fund­ing the NDZ cam­paign then he is very eco­nom­i­cal with the truth, ” an­other source said.

Maz­zotti last week de­nied that he was spon­sor­ing Dlamini-Zuma’s elec­tion cam­paign and said nei­ther he nor Carnil­inx were in­volved “in any po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties or po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns”.

How­ever, in his 2014 af­fi­davit, Maz­zotti says un­der the head­line “po­lit­i­cal fund­ing” that “Carnil­inx has made a R200 000 do­na­tion to­wards a po­lit­i­cal party”.

He said he had met Dlamini-Zuma only once, and that was in Lon­don where he posed for a pho­to­graph with her. He said he did not sup­port her.

In­ves­tiga­tive re­porter Jac­ques Pauw’s ex­plo­sive new book The Pres­i­dent’s Keep­ers claims Maz­zotti ad­mit­ted in an af­fi­davit in 2014 that Carnil­inx was com­plicit in fraud, money laun­der­ing and tax eva­sion.

Dlamini-Zuma this week couldn’t cat­e­gor­i­cally deny that Maz­zotti or his cig­a­rette com­pany had con­trib­uted to her cam­paign.

Mthintso said Dlamini-Zuma met Maz­zotti and Anas­tas­sopou­los in Lon­don but said she was “in­vited to a busi­ness lunch with In­vest Africa” which took place in the UK.

“Dr Dlamini-Zuma met the two gen­tle­men dur­ing the visit to Lon­don. Her ticket and ac­com­mo­da­tion were cov­ered by In­vest Africa, as the or­gan­iser of the lunch,” Mthintso said.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma flanked by Adri­ano Maz­zotti, left, and Carnil­inx chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Mo­ham­madh Sayed.

Dlamini-Zuma and Philip Anas­tas­sopou­los

Dlamini-Zuma and Adri­ano Maz­zotti

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