SABC News anchor Chanté Jantjies denies receiving money from Mara Phones

Former Miss South Africa Teen has been the talk of the town after being dragged into the collapse of the business

Former Miss South Africa Teen and SABC News anchor Chanté Jantjies has been the talk of the town after being dragged into the Mara Phones collapse. Picture: Instagram

Former Miss South Africa Teen has been the talk of the town after being dragged into the collapse of the business

FORMER Miss South Africa Teen Chanté Jantjies has been the talk of the town after being dragged into the Mara Phones scandal on Wednesday.

Mara Phones, a South African smartphone manufacturer, is closing its Durban’s Dube TradePort and is being auctioned off.

This happens after the company received an investment of R1.5 billion in 2019 with the help of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). All seemed well when the government supported the company and signed a six-year contract to supply the Department of Health with locally made Mara X smartphones.

Mara Corporation, reports IOL Lifestyle sister title Business Report, is an international multi-sector business with interests across 24 countries including 22 in Africa and a claimed staff of about 11 000.

It launched the new smartphone factory with a planned investment of some R1.5 billion in 2019, with the help of financing from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

Last April, the company announced it had been recognised as the preferred supplier to the government for smartphones for the next five years.

On Tuesday, it emerged the factory was empty and being auctioned by Park Village Auctions, along with the contents of the factory, on a mandate from the IDC and Standard Bank.

Mara has another smartphone manufacturing plant in Rwanda, which it opened just days ahead of opening the plant in Durban. The factories both made the Mara X and the Mara Z Android phones.

President Cyril Ramaphosa tours the Mara Phone Manufacturing Plant during the launch in Durban.The Mara Group announced plans to manufacture affordable smartphones in South Africa at the inaugural South African Investment Conference held in October 2018. Mara Phones will manufacture two smartphones developed in partnership with Google, as part of the Android One Program. South Africa. 17/10/2019. Siyabulela Duda (GCIS)

My Broadband reports that according to Mara Phones Global CEO Chris Corsi and founder and board member Ashish Thakkar, the company fell off because of the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, the lack of uptake in the South African domestic market coupled with a shortfall in tender materialisation and lockdowns has prompted this course of action,” said the executives.

However, there are allegations that there may be more to what caused the business to collapse.

Social media users have been speculating about the involvement of SABC News anchor and Metro FM news reader Chante Jantjies who they allude may have contributed to the business’s failure.

Jantjies, who has since deleted all her pictures on Instagram, is the owner of the Mara Phones franchise in Maponya Mall.

It is alleged that what appears to be a lavish lifestyle of travelling first class, luxury designer garments and expensive gifts was allegedly funded by the Mara Phones money. Janjties categorically denies that she was involved in the business.

In an attempt to clear her name, she has since released a statement which she claims was drafted by her lawyers (although there is no letterhead), saying that all the allegations were untrue and will not be tolerated.

“We wish to put on record that our client is not the owner or the founder of Mara Phones. Independently, our client purchased and invested in a small franchise owned by Mara Phones two years ago. Our client has not received any monies from Mara Phones or Mara Phones founder,” read the statement.

Read the full statement below:

This story was a topic of discussion on social media on Tuesday. Twitter users weighed in on the matter, and below is what they had to say.