Mabheleni Ntuli

The daughter of a top Jacob Zuma benefactor wishes her father could be as generous to her as he is to his friends.

High-flying Mabheleni Ntuli, who won a R30 million government tender to arrange Zuma’s inauguration as president, failed to show up for a maintenance hearing at the Ntuzuma Maintenance Court this week.

In March last year, the Bentley-driving Ntuli donated R500 000 to Zuma’s education trust at a Durban fundraiser.

On Thursday, Ntuli’s daughter stormed out of the courtroom when the hearing was postponed to November 9.

“I’m angry because they always keep postponing it. This is the third time now,” she said.

Ntuli previously claimed he did not have enough money to pay for his daughter’s education.

Last year, the court ordered him to pay R2 215 a month for his 22-year-old daughter’s maintenance.

According to the law, fathers are liable for the maintenance of their children until they can support themselves.

Now the second-year public relations student, who has asked not to be named or photographed for fear of ridicule, wants Ntuli to increase the amount to R6 000.

“I’m studying and I have more needs now,” she said.

Ntuli is known for his penchant for fine clothes, sports cars and wining and dining celebrities at exclusive parties in the city.

He is understood to have organised the decor at the wedding of police Commissioner Bheki Cele two weeks ago.

Ntuli was embroiled in a controversy last year when it emerged that the Department of Social Welfare had paid him R4.3m in separate transactions for events at Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla.

This week, maintenance investigator Nkosinathi Mfundisi said the court had found that Ntuli was in a position to maintain his daughter.

“My duty… was to investigate if he had means to support her. He is a contractor, and if you’re a contractor it’s clear you can maintain.”

Despite missing out on a year of study last year because of unpaid fees, Ntuli’s daughter spoke warmly about her father.

“I love him, he’s my dad. We used to have a good relationship. He’s given me money every term… I don’t know what happened last year.”

Ntuli was unavailable for comment this week.

Shortly after the court granted the order against Ntuli last year, she was highly critical of her father’s excess and unwillingness to support her.

She was quoted as saying, “I’m angry. He has a Bentley, Ferrari, BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz CLK 63, and he has all these parties all the time. He even has a marquee at the Durban July.” - Sunday Tribune