Who is Philani Mavundla?

By Drum Digital
20 October 2014

He’s risen to prominence since offering to pay for the controversial upgrades to president Zuma's home in Nkandla.

He’s risen to prominence since openly volunteering to form a collective in support of President Jacob Zuma, offering to pay for the controversial upgrades to his home in Nkandla.

Here are a few things you may not have known about the 46 year-old former mayor of Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal:

  • Mavundla is well-known in KwaZulu-Natal's business circles and has a long-standing relationship with Zuma, having been part of the Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust - set up by Durban businessman Don Mkhwanazi in 2005 to raise money for the president’s defence against his fraud and corruption charges at the time. Mavundla was also involved with the trust.
  • In 2008, he slaughtered 20 cattle to celebrate Zuma's ascendancy to the ANC presidency.
  • His construction company, PG Mavundla Engineering, has been involved in projects including the R8-billion King Shaka International Airport and the R1-billion Sibaya Casino. It also has a R1.2-billion stake in the construction of Eskom's R8.9-billion Ingula power station.
  • When he was mayor of Greytown, he refused to accept a salary and used his personal cars for official duties.
  • His personal property portfolio includes five commercial farms, a luxury hotel and lodge known as Propaganda, and several other businesses. His family owns "a fair share" of Greytown.
  • His homestead in Matimatolo has five standard-sized houses on it for his siblings, one for his late wife's mother and two guest houses. He also has his own three-storey house. His residence has 12 lounges, a gym and underground garages for 12 cars.
  • He has another mansion which boasts 14 bedrooms and private cinema theatres.

Madonsela found that Zuma and his family "unduly benefited" from the upgrades, which included a visitors' centre, a cattle kraal, a chicken run, a swimming pool, and an amphitheatre.

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