Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s former president, will represent Belarus at a Zimbabwe conference on the trade in African carbon credits, according to the organizers of the event.
Zuma, who was seen entering the event venue in Victoria Falls, is due to deliver a “special presentation” on behalf of the Belarusian African Trade Organization on Friday, according to the agenda of the Africa Voluntary Carbon Credits Market Forum.
“There is a very big role he has to play at that conference,” Nkululeko Sibanda, spokesman for the event, said without elaborating.
Zuma, apart from presiding over a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2011, has no known track record in the carbon credits industry but had close ties with Russia, an ally of Belarus, during his nine-year rule.
His daughter, Duduzile Sambudla-Zuma, was placed at the centre of a Russia-backed Twitter campaign to bolster support for its invasion of Ukraine, according to research commissioned and funded by the Centre for Information Resilience.
A spokesman for Zuma didn’t answer a phone call or respond to a text message seeking comment. The former president is facing a corruption trial in South Africa related to a state arms deal. He has denied wrongdoing.
The organizers are also hosting John Hlophe, who was suspended as the top judge of South Africa’s Western Cape province, the agenda shows.
Zuma and Hlophe are board members of the Belarusian African Trade Organization, according to Zimbabwe’s state-controlled Sunday News newspaper. Calls to Hlophe’s lawyer weren’t answered.
Hlophe, who was suspended for gross misconduct for trying to pressure judges to rule in favour of Zuma in a court case, has denied the allegations.
Zimbabwe has close ties with Belarus. President Alexander Lukashenko visited the African nation earlier this year amid pledges of agricultural and industrial investments. Russia, Belarus and Zimbabwe are sanctioned by the US.