Business / Business News

Malcolm Rees
1 minute read
3 Aug 2013
6:00 am

Zuma’s son connected to cigarette scheme

Malcolm Rees

President Jacob Zuma's eldest son, Edward, has been linked to a huge consignment of 'illicit' cigarettes police seized in Edenvale this week.

FILE PICTURE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Christine Vermooten

The confiscated brands are registered and manufactured by Amalgamated Tobacco Manufacturing (ATM) which lists Yusuf Kajee as its current director. A Moneyweb investigation has shown Zuma to have a close business relationship with Kajee.

Zuma is listed as a former director of ATM. Email correspondence in Moneyweb’s possession points to the apparent involvement of Zuma in ATM as recently as March.

The Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) say a man was arrested on Wednesday after a routine stop-and-search found him transporting “cigarettes without any documentation to a warehouse in Edenvale”.

The truck contained 807 master cases of cigarettes while “a further 97 more half-master boxed of D’s, M’s cigarettes” were found at the warehouse.

A single master case contains 10 000 cigarettes.

The brands “D’s and M’s” are known to be registered to ATM. Images of the brand D’s, understood to be identical in appearance to the confiscated cigarettes, show them to be “manufactured under licence of ATM”. The company is also known to have begun producing cigarettes from a factory in Pietermaritzburg.

Three separate sources have confirmed to Moneyweb that the confiscated cigarettes belong to ATM Africa.

“The D’s and M’s are not technically illicit, but one has to have certain documentation. They need to go through customs in terms of payment of taxes,” said EMPD spokesperson,Chief Supt Wilfred Kgasago. This implies they were to be distributed “on the black market, which is illegal and means that the taxes are not going to go to SARS”, said Kgasago.

Numerous sources maintain that ATM is run by Kajee in association with Zuma and that a portion of the company is held by businessman Paul de Robillard.