Mugabe Ally And Financier "Missing"
Billy Rautenbach (above) is supposed to testify in South African courts in the trial of that country's former Police Commissioner on allegations of corruption. He was implicated by another witness, who said Rautenbach had given him US$100 000 with which to bribe the Police Commissioner, Jackie Selebi, who was then also the head of Interpol. The bribe was so that the Police Chief looked the other way whilst Rautenbach continued to operate in South Africa. Rautenbach is alleged to be one of the major financiers of the Mugabe regime, in exchange for vast business concessions. He is banned from traveling to Europe and America.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 15 November 2009
A Zimbabwean millionaire, Mugabe ally and Financier has bolted from South Africa and is hiding from testifying in the trial of South Africa's former Police Commissioner, in which he stands accused of handing over US$100 000 in bribes.
Billy Rautenbach, who brought the South Korean car brand Hyundai into Zimbabwe and South Africa is hanging around Harare, near his sprawling home in Mazowe, as the South African justice system fails to locate him in order to get him to testify.
The businessman is intricately linked with Zimbabwean politics and has been said to be a beneficiary of Mugabe adventure in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Rautenbach subsequently set up various profitable mining companies together with ZANU PF politicians.
Rautenbach is banned from traveling most of the world. The European Union and the USA have travel bans against him, emanating from his financial support for Mugabe's regime. At the same time, Interpol, the international police organisation, has him on its wanted list. He is also banned from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where authorities see him as a plunderer of that country's vast mineral wealth.
A man of immense wealth, Billy has several huge farms in Zimbabwe and is also proposing to set up an ethanol plant in Chiredzi, south east Zimbabwe, to try and help Mugabe with his perenial fuel problems. That project faces an uncertain future at the moment, but that is another story completely.
Although the South African justice system says he is missing, this is only because no one in Harare is willing to cooperate with them to ensure that the man is brought before South African courts to testify.