Africa's Public Procurement & Entrepreneurship Research Initiative – APPERI



Texas oilman is at it again — now with Zuma

Mail&Guardian Online


February 17, 2012

A Nigerian-American oilman, who has become a major backer of President Jacob Zuma, paid R50-million to a wanted Congolese warlord in an illegal gold deal, according to the United Nations.

A UN expert group monitoring compliance with arms sanctions in the Democratic Republic of Congo has identified Kase Lawal, who heads the second-largest black-owned business in the United States, as the financier of the deal. Lawal persisted with the deal even after being told the warlord was the seller, the panel has claimed.

But the transaction imploded last February when security agents in the eastern DRC arrested Lawal’s half-brother and some associates, confiscating the gold they had just bought. Lawal and Camac, the oil and gas group he heads, tried to distance themselves from the events at the time, suggesting it was really one of the associates’ deals.

It was just seven months later, in September last year, that Lawal took pride of place next to Zuma in Houston when Lawal’s alma mater, the Texas Southern University, awarded Zuma an honorary doctorate. Lawal appears to hold some sway at the university — he became its largest alumnus donor in 2009 by pledging $1-million, after which he, too, received an honorary doctorate.

At Zuma’s award ceremony a partnership was announced between Camac and Zuma’s charitable foundation, the Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust, in terms of which the company would sponsor beneficiaries of the trust to study at Texas Southern and another Houston university. That, the trust confirmed to the Mail & Guardian, came on top of a five-year, R1-million-a-year Camac endowment to the trust, effective from 2010.

Zuma founded the trust in the 1990s when he was a KwaZulu-Natal MEC. The trust’s website says it is supporting 1 200 young people to get an education…Read more.

South Africa: Enough with the secrecy

South Africa: temporary residence permit and s...
Image by Sem Paradeiro via Flickr


June 8, 2011

by George Mari

RECENT accusations levelled against KZN Human Settlement MEC Maggie Govender, citing evasiveness in failing to answer ongoing questions around the R1,6-billion Vulindlela housing project in the pro-vince amid further revelations that some of South Africa’s top political families are allegedly linked to the development company, merely scratch the surface of what the Democratic Alliance believes is a far more serious problem facing housing delivery in our province. Leading the charges made by the DA is the allegation that African National Congress president Jacob Zuma’s brother is a shareholder in the development company, Dezzo Construction. Meanwhile, fingers have also been pointed at senior politicians in our own KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature….When government subsidies and funding are utilised, the project must go to public tender in terms of the Supply Chain Management process. In addition, the allocation of the management of R2,1 billion of public funds to a single company is not equitable in the context of the subsidised housing sector. The department has a responsibility in terms of procurement regulations to nurture and develop emerging companies in the sector, and yet it has allowed, through the VDA, a sum equivalent to a staggering 70% of its annual budget to be placed under the control of a single, established company. A tender of this magnitude — R1,6 billion — should never be awarded to a single entity. Read more….

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