MZI Khumalo has had to forfeit R1bn in shares and assets (including a football club and a stake in a private jet) after losing a six-year fight with the South African Reserve Bank in May over exchange control violations connected with a R760m loan to his Mawenzi Resources and Finance. No one will shed any tears for him. From the mid-90s, when his Capital Alliance was a partner with Brett Kebble in JCI, to the fast turnaround of his stakes in Harmony Gold and construction group Basil Read, few have benefited from the South African government’s black ownership laws as much as Khumalo. “It is not worth having a share from which you are unable to realise cash value when the time is right,” he said in a November 2005 interview. Even better since those shares were granted at a discount! Other companies in which he participated with more or less success include African Harvest, Aflease, Cluff Mining, Zarara Energy and Metallon Properties. In gold, he owned Agnes near Barberton, which collapsed, and five mines in Zimbabwe, one of which, loss-making Arcturus, was sold in December. Disputes and controversy surrounded many of his deals, including those with JCI, Harmony and Cluff. In 2005 he had plans to list Metallon Corporation on the JSE but, like many of his plans, this fell through.
LIFE OF MZI
He was born in KwaMashu, Durban, the youngest of 11 children, and holds a degree in commerce from Unisa. The story goes that returning to the mainland after 12 years on Robben Island, where he was jailed for being an Umkhonto weSizwe operator, Khumalo told the others that he intended to own a bank.
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