South Africa - Johannesburg - 21 June 2019 - EOH Holdings website. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
South Africa - Johannesburg - 21 June 2019 - EOH Holdings website. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

SA's own ‘Guptas’: Danny and Jehan Mackay?

By Adri Senekal de Wet Time of article published Jul 17, 2017

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The GUPTA did South Africa a big favour. In retrospect, they could turn out to be South Africa’s saviours! The leaking of e-mails between them and certain government officials opened up a Pandora’s Box of dodgy deals, cosy collusion and corrupt dealings. Business Report is determined to highlight and expose large companies and multinationals that are receiving government contracts.

A much more dangerous state capture followed. Last week’s news of shocking alleged corporate corruption transactions implicating multibillion multinational companies such as SAP, ABB, EOH and many others to be investigated further by Business Report during the next few days, make the Gupta story look like a kindergarten tea party.

Business Report did further research on an amabhungane investigative report published last month on our own “Gupta’s”: Father and son: shareholders in EOH (director Danny) and son Jehan MacKay, that might “dethrone” Atul, AJAY and RaJesh Gupta as South Africa’s most notorious alleged practitioners of state capture.

Danny MacKay’s meteoric rise as stellar business networker began when he sold his comparatively insignificant information technology company to EOH a few years ago. Perhaps he was a good entrepreneur or perhaps not. This set in motion a most extraordinary sequence of events.

Danny was given a seat on EOH’s board and Jehan, his son, was appointed as an EOH executive. The Mackays took a 5percent stake in EOH. Jehan Mackay’s job was to get EOH more government contracts, a job he fulfilled beyond the wildest dreams of EOH and the Mackays. They did so well, they could afford luxurious Atlantic Seaboard and Sandhurst homes, each worth between R65million and R111million.

Dazzling lifestyle

According to an article published by investigative journalists amaBhungane, the most expensive of their properties is known as “The Pentagon”. The designer mansion has unbeatable views of Cape Town’s Atlantic Ocean and the Twelve Apostles, and the Mackays claim that they can rent it out over the festive season for R150000 a day!

As if these displays of uber-conspicuous consumption are not enough, Jehan was allegedly able to drop tens of millions on a blazing red Ferrari reputedly the most expensive ever bought in the country to date. This dazzling lifestyle was augmented by his marriage to South African socialite supreme Sarah Langa-Heaton.

Such opulence was too good not to share with Danny and Jehan Mackays highly placed government connections, such as beleaguered social development minister Bathabile Dlamini where EOH received a R300m contract from the department.

It has to be asked whether EOH’s largesse in rewarding the Mackays knew any limits. According to EOH , they have the highest broad-based black economic empowerment rating (BR studied the shareholder list and are puzzled by this statement since there BEE shareholding seems small - but I will follow up with the company to understand this better) and earned R12.7billion last year.

Business Report issues a challenge to EOH and the Mackays: If your transactions are squeaky clean, open your books for a full audit, disclose all government contracts and disclose your delivery to government against payment of these contracts. Indicate if you have directly or indirectly paid any government ministers or officials or people involved in making these decisions for IT contracts and outsourcing. This should not be a problem as you were quoted as saying “that EOH is an ethical, relevant force for good and we strive to play a positive role in our society, beyond normal business practice”.

The definition of greed as provided by Wikipedia: “Greed is an extreme or excessive desire for resources, especially for property such as money, real estate, or other symbols of wealth.”

Here we run into two problems: defining excessive, and defining wealth, especially in terms of human psychology. In stark contrast, the world commemorates Mandela Day tomorrow, which is characterised by kindness, justice, generosity and altruism. Which of these noble qualities does corporate South Africa truly subscribe to?


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