A fleet of fast wheels and a mansion in Johannesburg’s most exclusive neighbourhood are amongst the pleasures being enjoyed by Duduzane Zuma
The Sunday Times reports that Duduzane Zuma (28) is living a flash life.
The only assets registered under Duduzane’s name include a 2005-model Citi Golf and a two-year old Harley-Davidson. But he has exclusive use of an exotic fleet of cars and a residence to match, the newspaper says.
He is living in a R4-million home in Saxonwold’s Griswold Drive – owned by Mabengela Investments, a company sources claim was funded and “kick-started” with a cash injection from the Gupta brothers – Atul, Ajay and Rajesh.
The auto fleet includes:
A Ducati Streetfighter super-bike, which retails for between R190,000 and R235,000, plus
A R2-million Porsche 911 Turbo,
R500,000 Chrysler 300c, and
Several multibillion-rand empowerment deals have thrust President Jacob Zuma’s media-shy son into the spotlight.
Duduzane Zuma, 28, who used to catch municipal buses and minibus taxis in Durban, is now central to several key empowerment deals.
Little is known about him, and established business people are questioning his meteoric rise into their elite circle.
On Friday, Vivian Reddy, a long-time benefactor to the president and his family, portrayed the “youngster” as a publicity-shy businessman who fought for everything he had.
“From a very young age Duduzane was taught to go out there and fend for himself, and that’s what he’s done,” said Reddy, chairman of Edison Corporation.
“I’ve known him from the time he was little boy. He struggled all his life and endured a lot of hardship. He used to take buses and taxis. He’s never relied on any handouts from anyone.”
Duduzane’s days of using public transport are long since behind him. Questions are being raised about the source of the money he uses to fund his extravagant tastes, and his relationship with the politically connected Gupta brothers.
The Sunday Times has established that he has exclusive use of a fleet of exotic cars and motorbikes – including a R2-million Porsche 911 Turbo – owned by Mabengela Investments, a company linked to the Gupta brothers. The company is headed by Duduzane while Rajesh Gupta, 38, is listed as a co-director.
Mabengela was registered two years ago and owns assets worth millions. Among them are a superbike, a Ducati Streetfighter, which retails for between R190000 and R235000, and a R4-million mansion in Saxonwold, near the Gupta family compound.
Duduzane lists the 2023m² property as his residential address.
The Sunday Times can also reveal that Mabengela splashed out on a R2-million Porsche 911 Turbo, a R500000 Chrysler 300c and a state-of-the art three-wheel BRP Can-Am Spyder Roadster worth about R130000.
The palatial home in Griswold Drive, according to property deeds records, is financed by the Bank of Baroda, one of India’s largest banks.
The president presented a special award to the bank’s chairman and managing director, MD Mallya, at the International Pro20 match in Durban in December. The match was followed by a concert hosted by the Gupta’s publishing group, TNA Media.
The only vehicles registered under Duduzane’ s name are a 2005-model Citi Golf and a two-year-old Harley-Davidson motorbike.
Atul Gupta, who heads the Gupta family’s business empire, has denied his family bankrolls Duduzane’s lifestyle and spearheads his business deals to cement a cosy relationship with his father.
Atul said Rajesh and Duduzane were not just business partners but also close friends. Atul also described Duduzane as a “close family friend”.
“He sits with us at the dining room table. At one stage he was a trainee manager at (the family’s computer company) Sahara Computers.”
Eight months ago Duduzane was appointed to the board at Sahara Holdings, the Gupta family’s investment company, which owns Sahara Computers.
The president’s son also holds directorships linked to the Gupta family’s other corporate investments, which range from mining to technology.
Duduzane, who is set to become one of the country’s youngest paper-billionaires, has repeatedly slammed the media for exposing his lucrative deals.
This week he said: “At some point I have to believe that there’s some sort of political agenda at play. I understand that the target is … my father. I’m just the conduit in this case. But I’m not going to take it lying down.”
Companies which list Duduzane as a director have secured a stake in controversial business contracts worth billions.
Last week the Sunday Times reported that Duduzane and Rajesh were directors and shareholders in a deal with China Railway Construction Corporation that placed them at the forefront to cash in on government’s R550-billion rail infrastructure project.
The Chinese deal comes after a R9-billion empowerment deal with steel giant ArcelorMittal, in which the Gupta brothers and Duduzane hold lucrative stakes.
The Gupta brothers took Duduzane and his twin sister, Duduzile, under their wing after their father’s election as ANC president in December 2007, and involved them in their businesses.
Duduzane’s mother, Kate Mantsho, died in December 2000. She was Zuma’s third wife. The couple had five children.
Reddy said Kate had loved Duduzane dearly. “She always told me that this was one of her sons who was going to be a big success.”
A state-of-the art roadster, a BRP Spyder 990, worth about R130,000.