Investigative journalist and author Pieter-Louis Myburgh has been raked over the coals by social media users across all platforms after he commented on businessman Thabiso Hamilton Ndlovu’s recent mega purchase.
“Five luxury cars in one go. We have to celebrate our successful businesspeople. Please DM me if you know anything about Hamilton Ndlovu’s business activities, just want to do a little research for a profile piece ;),” tweeted Myburgh as he retweeted a tweet celebrating Ndlovu.
“We salute you Hamilton Ndlovu. I’m to see a brother doing well,” said user @Observer106.
This was in reference to a series of videos that went viral at the weekend. The videos are screen recordings of Ndlovu’s Instagram stories in which can be heard telling another person who the luxurious cars are for.
He bought one Lamborghini Urus, three Porsches and a Jeep for himself, the “kids”, his parents and his wife.
According to his social media profile, Ndlovu is the founder of Hamilton Holdings, a company that provides commercial and engineering services in the SADC region.
“With nearly 20 years of combined multi-industry experience as a supplier of strategy, consulting, research and development, engineering, operations and technical staffing. To a diverse spectrum of industries, we can provide the quality resources you need, exactly when you need them,” reads the description on his company website.
The company’s head office is in Melrose Arch, with three other branches in other provinces.
While many have congratulated the man, some cautioned him that the video could attract attention from law officials who may investigate him, as they did with Sam Holdings.
Myburgh believes this investigation should happen in order to ascertain the legitimacy of Ndlovu’s wealth.
“Great ‘anger’ because some question a young tenderpreneur’s flashy cars. I wonder when last some of these ‘commentators’ visited a far-flung township. This version of wealth and ‘success’ is built on exorbitant tender projects that bring nothing but misery to poor South Africans,” tweeted Myburgh in response to his detractors who filled his Twitter mentions in defence of Ndlovu.
There were those who agreed with Myburgh, however.
Speaking to the Citizen, Myburgh stated that he was not surprised by the reaction his tweet received.
“I wasn’t too surprised by the backlash, given how toxic social media platforms like Twitter tend to get. But it’s also a very useful tool to source new information, and in that regard, my tweet has paid off.”
He stood by his initial point highlighting the necessity of asking questions regarding situations similar to Ndlovu’s.
“Nobody is saying Mr Ndlovu’s turn of fortune can necessarily be attributed to dubious conduct. However, considering the histories of the SOEs his company lists as clients on its website, investigative journalists and the public, in general, would naturally have their questions.
“Prasa, for instance, which is listed as a client of Hamilton Consulting, has a long and sorry history of wastage and questionable contracts. This was confirmed by former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s excellent Prasa report. Taxpayers have very good reason to wonder whether any contracts Mr Ndlovu’s company had obtained from Prasa were indeed above-board or cost-effective.”