As tributes continued to pour in yesterday following the death over the weekend of 84-year-old South African hotel magnate Sol Kerzner, United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa described him as “a brainy businessman”.
Ironically, it was Holomisa, then a member of the ANC decision-making body – the national executive committee – who was shown the door in 1996 for having “brought the ANC into disrepute”.
This was after Holomisa made revelations before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that former cabinet minister Stella Sigcau accepted R50,000 from Kerzner as part of a bribe of R2 million paid to then Transkei ruler George Matanzima.
Holomisa, who later led the UDM, was a major-general in the Transkei Defence Force at the time Kerzner was accused of paying the bribes to the Matanzima regime in exchange for gambling rights in the Transkei, with a court having later cleared Kerzner of wrongdoing.
Having buried the hatchet in reaction to Kerzner’s death, Holomisa said: “Sincere condolences to his family for their loss.
“Kerzner was a brainy businessman who saw opportunities to start tourism centres, like hotels and casino resorts, stretching from Sun City to the Wild Coast to the Bahamas.
“He has made an immense contribution in terms of building fledgeling tourist attractions here and abroad, convincing property developers to come on board.
“However, he was a victim of politics of extortion by unscrupulous politicians, who forced him to make questionable donations.
“In the Transkei he donated R2 million which had to be divided among cabinet ministers.”
We salute a visionary, a pioneer and the founder of Sun International, Sol Kerzner. Rest in Peace, #SolKerzner https://t.co/oPof7GcrpE pic.twitter.com/UtnOHfJiob
— Sun International (@MillionThrills) March 21, 2020
Among many institutions to laud Kerzner was the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
UJ said Kerzner made “an immense contribution to the building of UJ’s school of tourism and hospitality (STH), alongside executive director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and late professor Connie Mogale-Mokadi”.
In recognition of his role, UJ named its Auckland Park Bunting Road campus after Kerzner, who became the STH patron.
STH board chairperson Jerry Mabena said Kerzner left “a formidable legacy, as an entrepreneur and pioneer in the industry”.
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Brian Sokutu – Citizen
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