DA to lay charges against deputy finance minister
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Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Friday it would lay criminal charges against Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi on the back of allegations that he may have benefited from contracts concluded by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) while serving as its chairman.
"There seems to be a clear case of corruption and we will therefore be bringing criminal charges in terms of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act," the DA's transport spokesman Manny de Freitas said.
"In terms of the Act, Buthelezi may well be guilty of the general offence of corruption, an offence in respect of contracts, an offence in respect of tenders and an offence relating to private interests in public contracts. The SAPS must fully investigate this possibility."
Leaked emails reportedly show that Buthelezi and his brother Nkanyiso Buthelezi gained from rail contracts worth R150 million.
The allegations are that Inala Shipping‚ owned by the deputy minister's brother‚ was contracted to handle the shipping and logistics of a major locomotive import deal signed by Prasa.
The deputy minister is directly implicated in that Sebenza Forwarding and Shipping‚ in which he was a beneficiary‚ was signed to do the customs clearing for the deal.
He has denied any wrongdoing. Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's 2015 report into irregularities at Prasa, titled "Derailed", made mention of an allegation that a company of which he was a shareholder secured an advisory contract to the parastatal while he chaired the board.
However, Madonsela wrote that her efforts to probe this further were frustrated by the refusal of former Prasa CEO Lucky Motana to supply documents she had demanded.