Deputy President Paul Mashatile leads a life of luxury, using multimillion-rand homes owned by tenderpreneurs and beneficiaries of government contracts on Cape Town’s exclusive Atlantic Seaboard to entertain a string of lovers and friends, according to a News24 exposé.

One of Mashatile's largest benefactors is Edwin Sodi, the politically connected businessman currently on trial for charges of corruption and fraud.

Mashatile, who is open about his ambition to supplant President Cyril Ramaphosa as the next head of state, has apparently also perfected the art of attaining what appears to be beneficial ownership without having it registered in his name, nor does he pay directly for it, or explain the source of the benefaction.

The Deputy-President until recently used Sodi’s palatial Clifton home as a base, but the property was sold by the state last year for R78m.

Mashatile used the house even after it was placed under court ordered preservation by the state in 2020, and despite close friends and advisers warning him against his continued association with Sodi.

Mashatile also has free access to another home in Fresnaye, around the corner from Clifton, that is registered in the name of a company owned by Ndavhe Mareda, a businessman.

Mashatile made use of Sodi’s palatial Clifton house at least once a month between late 2016 and early 2022, News24 has established.

Current ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula was one of the politicians who met with Mashatile at Sodi’s home, a source revealed. Mbalula did not respond to questions.

Mashatile did not respond to a set of written questions sent to his spokesperson, Vukani Mde, on 6 June, nor did he respond to a request for an interview. Sodi declined to comment. 

The State Capture Inquiry led by Chief Justice Raymond Zond found that Sodi made generous payments through the accounts of his business, Blackhead Consulting, to obtain access, secure influence and retain connections with individuals at provincial and national government.

Speaking at a symposium hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council last Thursday, Zondo warned that state capture could easily happen again.

Mareda, responding through a private PR company, acknowledged ownership of the Fresnaye home.

He would not be drawn on questions relating to his relationship with Mashatile. 

Mareda's company, Black Royalty Minerals, recently bought Koornfontein Mine that was previously owned by the Guptas and secured a coal supply deal with Eskom earlier this year, according to information obtained through a Promotion of Access to Information Act request filed by News24.

It is not the first time Mashatile has been caught languishing in homes owned by wealthy friends and acquaintances. In 2009, he spent the Christmas holiday in a Thesen Island home owned by a company named Sifikile Developers, partly owned by Robinson Ramaite, another close friend who through other businesses, notably Sibize International Calling, had contracts with Gauteng provincial entities worth hundreds of millions of rands.

‘It's his house. They just never registered it in his name,’ the source and close Mashatile companion said of the Knysna home.

Deeds office records reflect that Sifikile Developers remains the owner of the exclusive home.

Full News24 report