Exposed – De Beers, Masire secret files

source: Sunday Standard
by Outsa Mokone and Spencer Mogapi
31.01.2010 9:15:48 P

De Beers “confidential” records reveal how the mining company paid lots of money to keep former President Ketumile Masire in power, and paid even more money to get him out of power, partly because he had become a liability because of his financial troubles.

A “confidential letter” written by Philip Leyden, one of De Beers directors, to a colleague reveals how De Beers threw money at Masire’s problems to help the new president through his first general election in 1984.

De Beers records suggest that on the eve of the election, four years after Masire took over the country’s presidency, he was no longer credit worthy. The mining company had been advised that there was “no prospect of any further direct assistance from the banks” to Masire’s company, GM Five.

In the letter, Leyden is motivating a bailout for Masire and points out that, “apparently local creditors, other than the banks, are mainly Indians one of whom has been pressing more strongly as the elections approached”.

The letter was based mostly on [continue reading]

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