South Africa’s Vice President Ramaphosa Sells Mine Assets
Photographer: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images
South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a trade-union activist who became
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa sold his investment in Shanduka Group Pty Ltd., a holding company mainly invested in mining and energy assets, to avoid conflicts of interest.
The company, which he founded, has a net asset value of 8.8 billion rand ($803 million). Its assets include stakes in Lonmin Plc’s platinum mines, coal venture with Glencore Plc and the McDonald’s Inc. franchise in South Africa.
Ramaphosa, a trade-union leader who became South Africa’s second-richest black businessman, had been given more time to dispose of assets in industries that are regulated by the government, the presidency said in a statement published on its website today. A family trust for Ramaphosa, 62, held a 29.6 percent stake in Shanduka, according to a disclosure to Parliament in September.
“The Deputy President will not give any instructions with respect to the management of these interests for the duration of his term in office, save for the purposes of complying with a legal requirement or to give instructions to sell such interest,” it said.
Ramaphosa’s shareholding in Lonmin Plc (LMI), through Shanduka, came under scrutiny during the inquiry into the killing of 34 protesters by police at the platinum-mining company’s Marikana operation during a strike in 2012. He was branded a murderer by some groups who accused him of pressuring the police to end the work stoppage. Ramaphosa denies the claims, saying he lobbied government ministers to clamp down on criminals at the mine.
Shanduka was founded in 2001 and made black empowerment deals in South Africa’s resources, energy, property and financial-services industries. Black empowerment laws seek to redress the country’s economic disparities caused by apartheid, which ended in 1994.
Ramaphosa’s investments in unregulated industries will be put in a trust and managed by independent people, the presidency said.
Shanduka said in May that Ramaphosa planned to exit his business interests in the company to focus on his government responsibilities. He also held stakes in companies including Standard Bank Group Ltd. and mobile-phone company MTN Group Ltd. (MTN), the local McDonald’s Inc. franchise and a Coca-Cola Inc. (CCE) bottling plant.