"Mashatile Unmasked" is an investigative project by News24 that seeks to unearth the apparently opulent and off-the-books lifestyle of deputy president Paul Mashatile.
Allegations that Mashatile has been at the centre of a group of friends and associates that have all benefitted from government posts and contracts have followed him for years and now, after more than two decades serving mostly in the Gauteng provincial government, Mashatile is a heartbeat away from the office of the presidency.
This in-depth probe seeks to uncover the intricate web of individuals who have contributed to maintaining Mashatile's life of excess, and what they benefitted in return.
This includes undisclosed payments to romantic partners and stays in big-budget residences.
None of these lavish perks are officially registered in Mashatile's name, nor does he directly shoulder the expenses or provide a clear explanation for their origins, and he has seemingly perfected the art of gaining value from these assets while keeping his name out of the paperwork.
By News24 investigative journalists Azarrah Karrim, Sipho Masondo, and Kyle Cowan
The secret luxury life and state capture links of a president-in-waiting
Deputy President Paul Mashatile leads a life of luxury and seeming excess, 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.
One of Mashatile's largest benefactors is Edwin Sodi, the politically connected businessman currently on trial for charges of corruption and fraud linked to a R255-million Free State asbestos eradication tender, together with former Free State premier and now ex-ANC bigwig, Ace Magashule.
Mashatile, who is open about his ambition to supplant President Cyril Ramaphosa as the next head of state, has 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. Regular companions and sources with direct access to Mashatile and his lifestyle say he almost never pays for anything directly out of his own pocket.
The R37m Waterfall mansion, his son-in-law and a Gauteng govt housing loan
Deputy President Paul Mashatile is staying in a R37-million home bought by his son-in-law Nceba Nonkwelo – who has received funding from Gauteng government entities – and his son, Thabiso.
Mashatile's spokesperson and son said Mashatile had to move to the house because of threats in March 2023 by a former girlfriend shortly after he married another woman.
This is despite the fact that the purchase of the property was set in motion months before the alleged threats, with Mashatile taking occupation shortly after the registration was finalised at the deeds office, which happened to coincide with the time frame in which the threats were made.
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