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The Panama papers and the Zuma link

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Mining magnate Khulubuse Zuma has been thrust into the spotlight again as the world reacts to the leak of millions of documents coined “the Panama papers”.

This comes as his uncle, President Jacob Zuma, continues to face the fallout from the Nkandla saga.

The controversial tycoon was named in the tranche of documents leaked from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The leaked documents laid bare the private fortunes of millions including world leaders, ferreted away in tax havens across the globe.

The South African connection, which drew the crosshairs to Zuma, is one of his league of companies named Caprikat Limited.

The company, established in the British Virgin Islands, scored a R100 billion oil deal in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A City Press investigation in 2010 discovered that President Zuma played a crucial role in the decision by DRC President Joseph Kabila to allocate two oilfields in the northeast of the country to his nephew.

Eight months before Kabila issued a decree for Khulubuse Zuma to bag two of the most prized oil licences in sub-Saharan Africa, Jacob Zuma met his DRC counterpart in Kinshasa, where they allegedly discussed the oilfields.

According to the report, Kabila appropriated the oilfields from Irish oil giant Tullow Oil and allocated them to Khulubuse Zuma months after the presidential summit.

According to the documents, which News24 has perused, British Virgin Island tax authorities ordered the law firm to furnish further particulars about Zuma.

A letter, sent to Mossack Fonseca by a Financial Investigation Agency official, gave the law firm seven days to hand over Zuma’s details.

“You have not provided all of the information that was requested in Questions 1 and 2 of my letter. Specifically, you have not provided a copy of the due diligence in respect of the above referenced company,” it reads.

According to a report by the Centre for Public Integrity, which published the leaked papers, Mossack Fonseca decided to “end its relationship” with Zuma and Caprikat.

Khulubuse Zuma, a sports car collector and flashy socialite, was one of the men behind the collapse of Aurora’s Pamodzi mines.

He and other directors were accused of siphoning off billions of rands which caused the mines to shut down, coasting thousands of jobs.

Efforts to contact the Presidency were unsuccessful at the time of publishing.

[Source: News24]
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