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Gupta-linked entities scored R16bn of R49bn lost via state capture – Paul Holden

Director of investigations at Shadow World Investigations Paul Holden File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Director of investigations at Shadow World Investigations Paul Holden File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 24, 2021

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Director of investigations at Shadow World Investigations Paul Holden has revealed how billions of rand was siphoned from the state and into Gupta-linked enterprises through the years of state capture.

While over R49 billion has been disbursed by organs of the state in expenditure tainted by state capture, the Gupta enterprise earned over R16 billion of that money through three ways, explained Holden.

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The first was state funds paid directly to Gupta enterprises that were contracted to SOEs and government projects.

The second was through payments made by contractors to the state in what Holden describes as first level money laundering activities.

And, the third was through kickbacks paid directly to Gupta enterprises located outside of South Africa.

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ANC deputy secretary-general Jesse Duarte’s ex-husband, John Duarte, was one of the people whose name appeared in the Gupta money trail evidence.

Before he began his testimony, Holden corrected Duarte's relationship, telling evidence leader advocate Matthew Chaskalson that he was Jessie's ex-husband.

The commission heard evidence of how Combined Private Investigations (CPI) received numerous contracts from state-owned enterprises between 2013 and 2016.

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CPI allegedly made monthly payments to Gupta-linked shell companies that were used to “wash” state funds. These “laundry” companies included Chivita, Homix, Forsure Consultants and Medjoul.

Holden said that upon investigation, CPI alleged that Gupta-associate Salim Essa approached them with an indication he could help further its business. CPI alleged that Essa worked alongside John Duarte.

Holden revealed that more than 200 companies had been implicated in the alleged money laundering of funds linked to state capture corruption.

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Earlier, he told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that more than R49 billion had been disbursed by organs of the state in expenditure tainted by state capture and related to the Gupta family.

He said Shadow World Investigations discovered contracts riddled with deviations, lack of competitive bidding and clear irregularities.

Holden's report examines the total cost of state contracts afflicted by state capture and the total amounts paid irregularly and directly to the Gupta enterprise by the state.

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