Obed Mlaba is allegedly using his position as South Africa’s High Commissioner to the UK to secure business deals for his personal projects. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/Independent Media

Durban – Former mayor Obed Mlaba’s daughter says allegations that her father is using his ambassadorship to secure personal deals do not involve her.

Thandeka Mlaba was responding to claims made in a Sunday Times article that her father was using his position as South Africa’s High Commissioner to the UK to secure business deals for his personal projects.

This would be investigated by the Department of International Relations, said spokesperson Nelson Kgwete.

The newspaper quoted two unnamed South African businessmen based in London, one of whom said Mlaba had at their first meeting asked him to help his daughter who has a waste management company.

It is believed he was referring to Own Environmental Waste Solutions (Pty) Ltd, which has Mlaba’s two daughters, Thandeka and Thabiso, as its directors.

When phoned by the Mercury on Sunday, Thandeka said she had not seen the article and had no comment.

She said: “It’s about him not us, we are not involved and it doesn’t bother us, we are carrying on with our lives.”

It was claimed that Mlaba sent out a letter to directors of companies using government letterheads for projects, including a technical school and private hospital in KwaZulu-Natal which fall under the Obed Mlaba Foundation Trust.

In response, Mlaba had said there was nothing inappropriate about his deals.

His attorney told the newspaper via e-mail that there were no rules restricting him from engaging in business as long as it was declared.

“The post of the high commissioner in the UK is in the hands of the president of South Africa. Our client was notified by the president to take up the position. The president would have only appointed our client after investigating all required compliances. This is a matter between the president’s office and state security and is therefore of no concern to our client.”

Kgwete said the internal investigation would start as soon as possible.

The Mercury