‘There is no special relationship’

2013-06-09 14:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sibusiso “Deebo” Mzobe, the elusive businessman behind the Zumaville project, believes there is nothing wrong with his seemingly unlimited access to the president.

Mzobe, who is Zuma’s cousin, is deputy chairperson of the Masibambisane Community Development Initiative, the rural development organisation the president chairs.

The organisation has made headlines more for being the alleged beneficiary of government largess through Zuma than for its development work.

The organisation assists rural communities around the country with cooperative farming and produce marketing to try and improve the standard of living.

It’s model started in Zuma’s home village of Nxamalala and has – often controversially – been replicated with government assistance in other provinces.

Last week the Sunday Times reported that Mzobe was present on two occasions when Libyan government investigators tracking former president Muammar Gaddafi’s stolen billions met with Zuma and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Mzobe said he had been with Zuma discussing Masibambisane business when both meetings – one in Nkandla and one in Pretoria – took place.

He said he had not participated in discussions around Gaddafi but showed them where to find Gordhan.

“I have been in a lot of meetings with a lot of different people. I am normally with the president when he is at home.

“I see him, to give assistance, to discuss projects. I have been working with the president for some time,” Mzobe said.

Mzobe, who this week settled a R7 million claim from a construction partner to avoid liquidation, said his meetings with Zuma took him to Pretoria and other parts of the country where Masibamisane had projects.

“There is no special relationship.

“We are involved in rural development together. We have to meet to talk about projects,” he said.

Mzobe denied being a “bag man” for the Zumas and of giving or channelling money to the president or his family.

“Why would I want to give the president money. Why would people want to give him money? He is employed. I believe he is earning. Instead of us giving him money it is us who have to ask him to give us money,” he said.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj did not respond to questions about Mzobe’s relationship with Zuma.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.