A further investigation into the levels of corruptions in the country shows that African Global formally Bosasa splurged up to R3.5 million into President Jacob Zuma’s birthday bash in 2015 and 2016.
The controversial facilities management group Bosasa led by CEO Gavin Watson allegedly funded Zuma’s birthday celebrations through Zuma’s foundation led by former SAA chair Dudu Myeni.
The company was also found to have bribed prisons officials for tenders by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and is currently under criminal investigation by the Hawks.
This revelation comes amid heated controversy sparked up by Jacques Pauw’s latest book, The President’s Keepers which claims that President Jacob Zuma had evaded tax payment since his ascension as President in 2009 and that he received R1m a month, for at least four months from tender tycoon Roy Moodley.
According to News24 which leaked the information about the funding of the Zuma bashes, Bosasa paid for the catering and decor at the parties and handed Zuma a specially-crafted chess gift set at his April 12, 2015, function and though the Zuma family had in that same year, portrayed the party as a small, intimate family affair in a press release, pictures revealed that the Bosasa executives were equally present dancing and making merry together with Zuma.
Documents seen by News24 also show that the catering, provided by Bosasa, in conjunction with top local chefs, provided for 300 plus guests. Bosasa constructed a marquee on the Presidential house’s helipad and front gardens.
Two sources confirmed that the two parties amounted to R3.5m in expenses for Bosasa.
Myeni reportedly thanked Watson for hosting Zuma’s 74th birthday party in a letter written to him on April 16, 2016:
“On behalf of the Patron of the Jacob G Zuma Foundation, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma, may we take this opportunity to thank you for the splendid birthday dinner planned at a short notice.
“The family was thrilled to have a memorable time with their father, intimately enjoying the wonderful dinner, prepared with care. The chef’s creativity and professionalism was commended by everyone.
“Thank you for your generosity and time spent to ensure that the first family had the grandest birthday,” Myeni concluded.
Myeni who was recently removed from being the chairperson of the South African Airway’s board of directors following the alleged liquidation of the airline’s funds through corrupt practices, has denied any wrongdoing while the Presidency refused to respond to the questions about Bosasa’s relationship with the president.
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The scandal-plagued Bosasa has recently changed its name to African Global in an attempt to avoid negative perceptions linked to the group’s old name. The group has won numerous multimillion-rand tenders from the Department of Correctional Services and provides security to the Department of Justice and Airports Company South Africa.