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Several prominent figures from at least 17 African countries appear in Panama Papers

05 April 2016, 13:41

Cape Town – At least 17 African countries have prominent figures who have offshore accounts with a company which is fingered for fronting for "questionable" businesses, a report revealed on Monday.

According to the Panama Papers, the countries include Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Zambia.  

The Panama Papers are a tranche of millions of leaked financial documents detailing a trove of billions sheltered in tax havens, and pocketed by political power players around the world. 

The documents were leaked from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca and published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

They are an unprecedented investigation that reveals the offshore links of some of the world's most prominent figures.

Joseph Kabila's sister  

An earlier report by News 24 indicated that lawmaker, Jaynet Desiree Kabila Kyungu, from the oil rich Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) appeared on the list after she reportedly opened an offshore account soon after her twin brother Joseph Kabila assumed presidency in 2001.  

Jaynet appeared as co-director, along with Congolese businessman Kalume Nyembwe Feruzi.

Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma's nephew Khulubuse Zuma was also thrust into the spotlight after it emerged that his company Caprikat Limited held offshore accounts.

The company, established in the British Virgin Islands, scored a R100bn oil deal in the DRC.

An investigation by City Press in 2010 showed that Zuma played a crucial role in the decision by President Kabila to allocate two oilfields in the northeast of the country to his nephew.

Mubarak's son 

Furthermore, amongst the many names, was John Addo Kufuor, the eldest son of Ghana's former president John Agyekum Kufuor, who led the country from 2001 to 2009.

The younger Kufuor, according to the documents, controlled a $75 000 bank account in Panama for his father and his mother that he ran through an offshore company.

Meanwhile, Congolese President Denis Sassoon Nguesso's son, Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, was said to have approached Mossack Fonseca about setting up a company based in the British Virgin Islands, called Phoenix Best Finance in the 1990s.

Denis Christel, however, has since denied the report.

The report also revealed that Alaa Mubarak, the son of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak owned a British Virgin Islands firm, Pan World Investments Incorporation, which was managed by Credit Suisse.

In 2011, the year in which his father was overthrown and consequently arrested along with him (Alaa) and his brother Gamal, the authorities told Mossack Fonseca to freeze Pan World's assets, an order prompted by a European Union law.

The investigators spent at least a year sifting through 11.5 million leaked files to expose the offshore holdings of world political leaders, links to global scandals, and details of the hidden financial dealings of fraudsters, drug traffickers, billionaires, celebrities and sports stars.

- News24


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