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Ex-Treasury Chief Mogajane Ushers Moti Group Into New Era Amid Past Controversies

Dondo Mogajane

Controversial businessman Zunaid Moti announced on Wednesday that he has “stepped away” from the Moti Group, the business he established nearly two decades ago. Moti’s exit comes as the company seeks to grow its international presence. The group will now be led by former Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane, who had been appointed as CEO in June last year, following his departure from National Treasury.

  1. Zunaid Moti, the controversial founder of the Moti Group, has stepped down from the company due to his tarnished reputation from past criminal allegations, making way for former Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane to take over as CEO.
  2. Mogajane brings experience and credibility to the organization, focusing on governance, compliance, and overcoming the controversies surrounding the founder and the group’s various businesses.
  3. Under Mogajane’s leadership, the Moti Group aims to strengthen its position in the global market, focusing on growth and development across various sectors, including mining, real estate, and aviation.

Mogajane initially focused on governance and compliance issues within the company, conducting his own due diligence before formally accepting the CEO position. A spokesperson for the Moti Group confirmed that Moti had gradually reduced his involvement in operational matters, allowing his 24-year-old son Mikaeel to take over as board chair. The group is now ultimately owned for the benefit of the Moti children, with shareholding placed in corporate structures, such as family trusts.

Zunaid Moti’s decision to step down follows years of criminal allegations that have tarnished his reputation, limiting the value he can add to the management and growth of the company. In 2018, Moti was arrested in Germany for his alleged involvement in the theft of a R500 million pink diamond from a Russian businessman. Although the charges were later withdrawn, Moti acknowledged that the allegations had affected his family, the businesses, and his life.

Moti will now focus on the African Chrome Fields (ACF) mining operation in Zimbabwe and his personal philanthropic ventures in southern Africa. The Moti Group’s operations in Zimbabwe and Moti’s connections with government figures, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa, have attracted scrutiny. In 2018, Moti described the group’s understanding of Zimbabwe as a “Mnangagwa investment.” ACF, Zimbabwe’s largest chrome mine, has faced challenges in recent years, with operations downscaled following Moti’s incarceration and the impact of Covid-19. However, production at ACF has been ramping up, and the company is planning the opening of an aluminothermic plant.

In January, a legal battle between the Moti Group and former business partner Frederick “Frikkie” Lutzkie emerged after the arrest of former Moti employee Clinton van Niekerk for “theft of information.” Lutzkie claims that he realized “almost no value” from a R242-million investment in Kilken Platinum, a company associated with Moti. Moti denies the allegations and has received support from anti-corruption campaigners, including Lord Peter Hain and forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan.

The Moti Group has a diverse portfolio, with holdings in the Kilken joint venture with Imbani Minerals, lithium miner Pulserate Investments, and upmarket properties in Johannesburg. The group also owns and operates a fleet of aircraft for private and charter use, with President Cyril Ramaphosa having used a private jet owned by the Moti Group for his first official visit to Botswana in 2018.

With Zunaid Moti stepping down and Dondo Mogajane at the helm, the Moti Group aims to continue its growth and overcome the controversies that have plagued its founder.

As Dondo Mogajane takes over the reins of the Moti Group, his experience as a former Treasury director-general is expected to bring stability and credibility to the organization. Mogajane’s focus on governance and compliance will likely play a crucial role in restructuring the company and enhancing its reputation in the face of past controversies.

In addition to addressing internal matters, Mogajane will also need to navigate the ongoing challenges faced by the group’s various businesses. For example, the successful opening and operation of ACF’s aluminothermic plant in Zimbabwe will be a significant milestone for the company. Moreover, the group’s involvement in lithium mining through Pulserate Investments could potentially tap into the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles and renewable energy storage systems.

The Moti Group’s real estate ventures, such as the Icon@Hyde Park and Cottonwood residential complexes, as well as the upcoming FuturExotics Lifestyle Emporium and the development of the Nondela Drakensberg Mountain Estate, will need careful management and strategic planning to ensure long-term success.

Mogajane’s leadership will also be essential in addressing and resolving any lingering legal issues involving the group, its founder Zunaid Moti, and former business partners. This will be crucial in fostering a more transparent and accountable corporate culture and demonstrating the company’s commitment to ethical business practices.

Overall, Dondo Mogajane’s appointment as CEO of the Moti Group signals a new chapter for the organization, one that aims to overcome past controversies and focus on sustainable growth and development. Under Mogajane’s leadership, the Moti Group has the potential to strengthen its position in the global market and expand its reach across various sectors, including mining, real estate, and aviation.



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