Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma’s birthday parties in 2015 and 2016 were sponsored by controversial facilities management group Bosasa.
Bosasa, led by CEO Gavin Watson, was found to have bribed prisons officials for tenders by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and is currently under criminal investigation by the Hawks.
News24 can reveal that Bosasa paid about R3.5m for the parties through Zuma’s foundation, led by former SAA chair Dudu Myeni.
The revelations come hot on the heels of investigative journalist Jacques Pauw’s latest book, The President’s Keepers, that exposed Zuma receiving R1m a month, for at least four months after becoming President in 2009, from tender tycoon Roy Moodley.
READ: Scandal-ridden prison services firm Bosasa gets new name
There were family-only invitations for the birthday bashes at Dube House, Zuma’s presidential residence in Durban. However, they were attended by Watson and other Bosasa executives.
Myeni, who chairs the Jacob Zuma Foundation, has denied any wrongdoing. The Presidency did not respond to detailed questions and Bosasa said it had no special relationship with the president.
The scandal-plagued Bosasa 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.
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.