Politically connected prominent Durban businessman and founder of the Black Management Forum, Don Mkhwanazi, died last night in Durban of a heart attack.
The 63-year-old businessman was one of the top allies of President Jacob Zuma. He also had strong ANC links and contributed in the establishment of the Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust.
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He reportedly died of a massive heart attack at his home in Umhlanga, following a visit to a friend’s house.
His friend Kiepiela also revealed that his businesswoman Zodwa Msimang was away in the US at the time of the incident.
From the information provided by eThekwini Living Legends, Don Mkhwanazi was one of the pioneers on Black Economic Empowerment as well as a leading advocate. He got actively involved in its implementation by creating opportunities for black business men and coined the term BEE in the 80s before it became government policy.
He started the National Empowerment Trust in 1992 and was also the chairperson of the Industrial Development Corporation sub-committee on BEE, an initiative which focused on how to underscore the new strategic direction of the corporation.
Mkhwanazi was also involved in the KwaZulu-Natal Growth Coalition and as chairman of the Central Energy Fund in the mid 1990s, he attracted criticisms when he appointed former Liberian finance minister Emanuel Shaw as an adviser at R3 million a year.
Earlier this year, as the former chairperson of the Friends of Jacob Zuma, Don Mkhwanazi offered to help Zuma repay his Nkandla debt which he incurred during an upgrade in his private homestead.
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Businessman Don Mkhwanazi was quoted to have said:
“As an organisation we are virtually non-existent because we did what we had to do back then. But if he needs us individually, we will always support him, like we always did in the past.”
He refused to comment when asked if he will help Zuma out personally but added that Zuma had not approached the organisation for financial help yet.