The former director-general of National Treasury, Dondo Mogajane, has been "quietly working" as the new CEO of the Moti Group for the past eight months. The Moti Group is owned by controversial businessman Zunaid Moti.
The group, which has interests in mining, properties, logistics and aviation, referred to Mogajane as its CEO in a media statement outlining its thoughts on the Budget.
Mogajane told News24 he had been named CEO in June last year, shortly after leaving Treasury. Since then, he had mostly been "quietly working" on governance and compliance issues.
"It has been excellent. I am enjoying the private sector," he said.
Mogajane was appointed as Treasury's director-general in June 2017. He left last year after his five-year term came to an end to "pursue new opportunities outside of the public sector".
The group he joined has long been followed by controversy.
Last month, a former Moti employee, Clinton van Niekerk, was arrested at King Shaka International Airport for "theft of information".
As amaBhungane reported, the arrest led to a legal battle between the Moti Group and a former business partner, Frederick "Frikkie" Lutzkie, who claimed that Van Niekerk was on his way to London with sensitive documents showing evidence of corruption.
The Moti group denied this, claiming Van Niekerk stole confidential company information, as well as copies of the birth certificates of Moti's children.
Moti himself was placed under provisional arrest in Germany in 2018 for his alleged involvement in the theft of a R500-million pink diamond from a Russian businessman.
At the time, his lawyer said he had been subject to a "litany of spurious and fraudulent claims" made by a member of the "Russian mafia".
He returned to South Africa some five months later. Moti's legal team later said their client had never been subject to an Interpol red notice, and should not have been arrested.
The Moti Group’s operations in Zimbabwe and Moti's closeness to leading government figures there, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa, have also come under scrutiny.
In 2018, for example, he told the Mail & Guardian that the group "started to understand Zimbabwe as a Mnangagwa investment because he was there guiding us in the investment and policies".
Moti has received support from, among others, noted anti-corruption campaigner Lord Peter Hain and forensic consultant Paul O'Sullivan. Hain, a leading voice against state capture, was named special advisor and ex-officio member of the Moti group's board in 2018.
O'Sullivan, meanwhile, has done consulting work for the Moti Group, telling News24 Business in 2018 that he was "confident that [Zunaid Moti] is not involved in any criminal activity".
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