There’s a bucket full of toxins floating around South Africa right now as those who engaged in industrial scale plunder during the Zuma era shore up their defences. In the court of law they are applying the Stalingrad tactic (endlesss delays in the hope of eventually exhausting your opponent). In the court of public opinion, it’s a strategy of diverting attention by sowing confusion. And occasionally the dirty tricks hit the jackpot.
Two weeks ago Parliamentarian Bantu Holomisa sent a scathing five page letter on his UDM Party letterhead to president Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to investigate four black businessmen whom he accused of systematically plundering the Public Investment Corporation.
Holomisa names Tshepo Mahloele as the kingpin in a corrupt nexus with PIC chief executive Dan Matjila, former deputy finance minister Jabu Moloketi and Warren Wheatley, a director of Mahloele's rapidly developing financial business Lebashe.
51 year old Mahloele worked for Rand Merchant Bank, CDC, the PIC and the Development Bank of SA before founding of private equity firm Harith. The firm well known in development finance circles having raised $1bn from major financial institutions for investment into infrastructure projects on the African continent, generating a return of 15% a year.
He is also a key player in a Black Economic Empowerment consortium which in 2007 acquired 10m Capitec shares at R30 each. That was a spectacularly successful transaction, with Capitec stock having risen 30-fold to the current R900, creating the base from which Mahloele created Lebashe, a rapidly developing financial business.
The scale of his achievements were recognised by the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals which, in 2014, named him the CEO of the Decade. Now Holomisa is accusing him of being the mastermind behind "an iceberg of corruption".
Mahloele has responded to the attack by launching an urgent interdict against Holomisa and his political party. I went along to the Harith offices in Johannesburg to find out more about this low profile heavyweight. What emerges is fascinating.