, A Glorious Black Global Entrepreneur Who Loves The People
Posted on 04 November 2013 by Thandisizwe Mgudlwa
Robert Gumede is the Founder of Gijima Group, an IT-based company in South Africa.
He is also a Non-Executive Chairman for Gijima Group Limited.
Mr. Robert Wellington Matana Gumede, founded Guma Group (Pty) Ltd in 1995 and has been its Executive Chairman since 2005.
Gumede served as a State Prosecutor in the Nelspruit courts for five years.
He started his career as a Clerk in the civil and criminal court in Nelspruit, some decades ago now.
In 1992, he moved to Johannesburg where he assumed several key positions like Business Development Director for Africa at Sukhulu Holdings (Proprietary) Limited (from 1992 to 1994).
Gumede then went on to be Business Development Executive at LTA Limited and Director of LTA Building (Proprietary) Limited and LTA Housing (Proprietary) Limited (from 1994 to 1996), before realizing a dream with the establishment of Gijima.
used the opportunity of working with several multinational companies to learn about the corporate world to prepare for the launch of his
Mr. Gumede has been the Non-Executive Chairman of the Board at Gijima Group Limited (also known as Gijima Ast Group Ltd), since August 2008.
He serves as the Chairman of Tourism Investment Corporation Limited.
Mr. Gumede served as Executive Chairman of Gijima Ast Group Ltd. from January 1, 2007 to August 2008 and Executive Deputy Chairman from June 9, 2005 to January 1, 2007.
He has been Director of CIC Energy Corp, since April 16, 2010.
Historical records report that Gumede
began working at the tender age of seven as a golf caddie, gardener and later as a petrol attendant after school and on weekends, to supplement his
mother's meagre income as a domestic worker allowing his
siblings to eat regularly and attend school.
ability to turn things around when he
undertook to manage a football team in which he
The business industry and its leadership acknowledged his
remarkable ability as a strategist, salesman and entrepreneur by nominating and voting him as the South African Chapter runner-up candidate for the World Entrepreneur of the Year 2005.
Gumede obtained a bachelor of law degree from the University of Zululand.
In celebrating his
50th birthday on the 9th of September this year, the CITY PRESS newspaper reported that Gumede
had pulled out all the stops when he
hosted a three-day extravaganza that included a ladies' high tea, a VIP gala dinner, a free concert for 65000 people and a specially created theme park for more than 7000 children in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.
"That brought tears to my eyes," says Gumede
But it was Saturday's family day that he
singles out as the most meaningful day of the three as it helped him relive his
, who attended the fair just once.
defends flaunting his
wealth, pointing to his
philanthropic work that formed part of the birthday weekend.
gave away two houses to children.
One of the children who won a house in the raffle is a seven-year-old girl who Gumede
says reminds him of himself because "I started work when I was seven, carrying golf bags bigger than me".
has also put aside R40-million from the family trust for university scholarships for kids from Mpumalanga.
In other recent developments, Mr. Gumede won a R53-million claim against his former business partner, Johannes Sterenborg, in a UK court.
"The sad reality is that if a White person says you are corrupt, everyone, including our own people, believe you are corrupt," said Gumede
said the claim against Sterenborg was not about money, but principle.
The action cost him more than R50-million "but was worth the quest to clear my name".
"Unfortunately, the reputation of many other Black businesspeople have been destroyed because they did not have the economic muscle I had to fight Sterenborg's campaign to sully my name," Gumede
Furthermore, the legal battle between the two started in 2001 after Gumede
had increased his
shareholding in Sterenborg's Applied Card Technologies (ACT) to 100%.
was accused of being corrupt.
In 2006, the Gauteng High Court awarded Gumede
a claim for R26,1-million, which with interest and costs came to R53-million.
"Sterenborg tried everything in the book to avoid payment and used the media to publish false and defamatory allegations against me," Gumede
then lodged an application in the UK to enforce the Gauteng High Court order.
was granted the claim.
said the lesson for Black business was "not to be blinded by the opportunities they see on the horizon but to do due diligence checks on the people involved (in business transactions)".
The Guma Group of companies
, founded by this self-made entrepreneurial businessman, Robert Gumede
, is a Black owned, hands-on operations and investment power house intensely focused on adding value and initiating growth by means of operational and managerial participation.