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Last Updated: Friday, 10 December 2004, 15:17 GMT
Who is Irvin Khoza?
South African football administrator Irvin Khoza
South African football administrator Irvin Khoza has a controversial past

Despite a controversial past, Irvin Khoza was recently named as the chairman of South Africa's 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee.

But the powerful political connections of football's 'Iron Duke' mask a criminal past which includes insurance fraud, tax evasion and charges of drug dealing.

Khoza has twice been found guilty of insurance fraud in his own country - fined in 1979 and 1981 for trying to profit from a fictitious life policy - and he was also fined in Zambia for his connections with an alleged drug smuggling operation.

Two years ago, he had to pay US$1m in back taxes, interests and penalties to the South African revenue services after being arrested for tax evasion.

Charges of possession of an unlicensed weapon were dropped however after he was arrested at Johannesburg airport on his return from the 2002 World Cup finals.

Khoza has since used his football profile to continue amassing a private fortune, which tax assessors value at more than US$10m.

Yet he was an entrepreneur of some standing even before he started climbing the South African football ladder.

Born in Alexandra, the black township in Johannesburg, in January 1948, Khoza was involved in football administration while still a high school student in Soweto.

He is also a former student at South Africa's famous Fort Hare University but did not complete his course, allegedly expelled for anti-apartheid activities.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Irvin Khoza
Irvin Khoza helped South Africa win the bid to host the 2010 World Cup

In 1980, Khoza was appointed as secretary of Orlando Pirates, a team that his uncle once managed, but he was kicked out of the club after a year for reasons that have never been made clear.

He returned after a decade in triumph - having made his fortune in property deals - to take charge of the bankrupt club.

Since then, he has built Pirates into a money-spinning empire while benefiting from the sale of some of the club's star players to overseas teams.

Those sales have also led to problems when tax investigations showed Khoza had put the proceeds of the 1996 sales of Mark Fish and Helman Mkhalele to clubs in Europe into a trust account rather than that of the club .

An affidavit by former Bafana Bafana coach Jomo Sono, who owned a share in the players, told of the huge profit the pair made from the sales.

As well as running Orlando Pirates, Khoza is also a vice-president in the South African Football Association and chairman of the Premier Soccer League.

But his biggest triumph has been leading the successful bid to win the right to stage the 2010 World Cup.

He managed to use his close relationship with senior government officials to persuade Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela to play a high-profile role in the campaign.

It remains to be seen whether Khoza's controversial past will come back to embarrass him and the South African 2010 World Cup organisers.

Khoza gets World Cup job
04 Dec 04 |  African
Jordaan may go for top post
05 Dec 04 |  African
Safa vice-president quits
03 Feb 04 |  African
Arrest damages SA bid
12 Aug 02 |  Africa

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