I am no friend of Zuma’s: Shabangu

2011-06-17 10:57

Property tycoon Roux Shabangu today denied that he was a friend of President Jacob Zuma and that it was the public works ministry who approached him in connection with a controversial building lease.

Speaking at a press conference in Irene, Pretoria, he said a lawyer who had sent the Sunday Times newspaper a letter claiming he was a friend of Zuma had her services terminated.

Referring to the R500 million lease of the Middestad Building in Pretoria to the police, Shabangu said he had been approached by public works officials.
He did not say who specifically in the department had approached him.

“They came to us, but referred by the previous owners. That’s how the deal landed in our hands.”

The deal was sharply criticised by the public protector, advocate Thuli Madonsela, earlier this year.

She found the national police commissioner, General Bheki Cele, guilty of maladministration and criticised Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde for going ahead with the deal despite receiving legal advice to the contrary.

Shabangu said there was a perception about businessmen that “if he’s black, he must be connected to government officials”.

As far as he was concerned, the Middestad deal was valid and that he was not responsible for the department of public works not following processes, he said. 

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

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.