Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini plans to launch a cellular network, called Bayede Mobile, by mid-2019.
Bayede (which translates to "hail" in isiZulu) Mobile will provide an affordable cellular services service to South Africans and make use of existing mobile infrastructure, the company said. A launch date will be announced in the near future.
“[Bayede will] provide an affordable solution for the poor and marginalized in their use of technology, allowing them the opportunity to connect and empower themselves,” Zwelithini said.
A company called JR Capital will be Zwelithini's partner in the venture. Infamous businessman Roux Shabangu serves as one of two JR Capital directors, according to company records.
Shabangu was at the centre of a number of controversial property deals with government over the years.
Bheki Cele lost his job as police minister in 2011 after he signed to two police lease deals involving Shabangu.
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Cele has been guilty of improper conduct and maladministration when the police authorised a R500m lease for the new SAPS headquarters in Pretoria – a deal that benefited Shabangu, a friend of former president Jacob Zuma.
The Land Bank has also laid a claim against Shabangu about a failed deal.
Zwelithini, who also has a wine range called Bayede, recently teamed up with AfriForum to fight land expropriation.
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