In 1992 Sun International signed a remarkable document with the Transkei government. It granted the hotel and casino group the exclusive right to use 640ha of some of the most spectacular seafront real estate in the world for the princely sum of R2,500 a month. The document was an addendum to a 50-year lease that former Transkei ruler Kaiser Matanzima had signed more than a decade earlier with Holiday Inn, which built a luxury resort on the land. Matanzima’s lease, which stipulated that his government would "remove from the leased property all existing farmers and inhabitants", contained no escalation clause. It also committed the former apartheid homeland to compensate the group for improvements — today worth an estimated R1.2bn — when the lease expired. By 1992 hotel magnate Sol Kerzner had channelled R2m into Transkei Prime Minister George Matanzima’s pocket for exclusive gambling rights in the homeland. Matanzima later went to jail for receiving a bribe, and a corruption case wa...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.