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First On EWN: 'Zuma Foundation logo was gesture of goodwill'

Questions were raised after the logo was spotted on a Chinese electric racing car and in its garage.

Questions were raised after the logo was spotted on a Chinese electric racing car and in its garage. Picture: Supplied.

PRETORIA - A Chinese motor racing team has told Eyewitness News it featured President Jacob Zuma's foundation's logo on its racing car, simply as a gesture of goodwill.

It emerged in recent weeks that the president's foundation and the Nexttev China Racing Team had a relationship, when its logo was spotted on the team's state-of-the-art electric racing cars.

The Formula E class started racing last year and hosts events around the world but not in South Africa.

Team China Racing manager Steven Lu said the sponsorship deal was struck in December last year, when members of the Jacob G Zuma foundation accompanied the president to Beijing on an official state visit.

He said team owner Lu Liu, a businessman with ties to South Africa, offered to promote the foundation by placing its logo on the racing car in an effort to create awareness around the globe.

He did however commit to donating R500,000 to the foundation if the promotion didn't attract any interest.

Liu did not respond to follow up questions on whether any money has already been paid over since the racing season ended several months ago.

The foundation and the presidency have still not responded to questions despite numerous attempts over several weeks.

Liu started the racing team in 2004 when South African diamond entrepreneur Tony Teixeira launched the A1 Grand Prix (A1GP) series.

Teixeira made his fortune through mining operations in Africa and was director of Energem, which had offices based in Johannesburg.

In 2005, Liu was appointed as managing director of Energem's Chinese operations based in Beijing until the company went bankrupt in 2011.