The State Security boss and the rhino horn trafficker
By Julian Rademeyer
State Security Minister David Mahlobo has allegedly been hanging out with a Chinese organised crime figure who traffics rhino horns and openly brags about bribing South African justice and immigration officials.
These claims are contained in a new documentary by Al Jazeera Investigates, which also draws on research I conducted for the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime about diplomatic involvement in the rhino horn trade .
Video secretly recorded by an undercover investigator shows Guan Jiang Guang – a “businessman” and massage parlour owner in Mbombela – swiping through photographs on his phone that appear to show him and Mahlobo.
“He came to my massage parlour every week, or at least twice a month,” Guan says. “I know him well … [He was] a guest at my home.”
One of the photographs appears to show Mahlobo with a young woman, described by Guan as “one of my manicure girls”.
Mahlobo, however, denies the claims. His spokesperson Brian Dube told Al Jazeera:
“The minister has indicated that he does not have any relationship with the gentleman and he has never been to his house or received any of his services at his house as claimed.”
On Friday, Dube told South Africa’s City Press newspaper: “In order for us to comment, we want the details of the photographs and video material purporting to show these allegations, as well as the details of the undercover investigator.”