New minister of home affairs Malusi Gigaba is sworn in at a ceremony in Pretoria on Monday, 26 May 2014. With him is Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. Picture: GCIS/SAPA
New minister of home affairs Malusi Gigaba is sworn in at a ceremony in Pretoria on Monday, 26 May 2014. With him is Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. Picture: GCIS/SAPA

State Capture recap: The shady locomotives deal, the SARS rogue unit, the Gigabas, Myeni and Moyane

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published May 29, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture heard explosive evidence that revealed an estimated R49 billion of state funds were disbursed in expenditure tainted by state capture.

About 85% of that total amount was swindled out of Transnet through various dodgy deals, mainly the procurement of 1064 locomotives in the multi billion rand tender.

The Gupta family is said to have personally earned just over R16bn of that money.

Paul Holden

Director at Shadow World Investigations, Paul Edward Holden brought these figures to light during his testimony on Monday.

Holden explained how state funds were laundered through an "enormous and complex" manner via numerous Gupta-linked shell companies.

He simplified it, explaining to the Commission that the state funds ended up in the Guptas' clutches through three ways.

The first included state funds paid directly to Gupta enterprises that were contracted to state-owned enterprises and government projects.

The second was through payments made by contractors in what Holden described as "first-level money laundering activities".

And, the third was through kickbacks paid directly to Gupta enterprises located in Hong Kong, China and Dubai.

Eskom, Transnet and the Free State provincial government were the main cash cows for the Gupta enterprise, he said.

McKinsey

Management consulting firm McKinsey and Company have agreed to pay back about R870m by the end of the week for work it performed on the Transnet and SAA contracts tainted with state capture.

McKinsey worked alongside Gupta-linked Regiments Capital on a number of contracts that have since been investigated by the state capture commission of inquiry.

Dudu Myeni

Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni was scheduled to appear on Tuesday morning, but she failed to do so. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo instructed that a criminal complaint be laid against her and she was rescheduled for later in the day.

When Myeni finally took the stand, she apologised for the miscommunication and for not appearing in the morning.

Myeni later insisted that she would only give her evidence in isiZulu and explained how she was the victim of a smear campaign that labelled her as a criminal. She said every board she chaired was labelled as disastrous.

Tom Moyane

The former SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane denied that he managed the tax authority into the ground and maintained he did a “sterling” job during his tenure. He also denied any involvement in state capture or that he influenced former President Jacob Zuma to fire then finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

He made a scathing opening statement before his testimony, that Gordhan - who is now Public Enterprises Minister - “spoke from gossip” during his allegations against him when he appeared at the Commission.

In his evidence, he insisted there was an unlawful so-called rogue unit operating within the tax authority that spied on high-ranking officials and offices. This is despite findings by the high court and other investigations that no such unit existed at SARS.

In his opening statement, he told Zondo that members of the so-called rogue unit approached him with a detailed confession of their operations.

He also revealed how former President Jacob Zuma told him that he was the preferred candidate to head the tax authority almost a year before his appointment.

Moyane also told the Commission that he did not personally read the 2018 report compiled by Judge Robert Nugent that found him unfit for office.

Malusi Gigaba

Former Minister Malusi Gigaba labelled his estranged wife, Norma Mngoma as an “accomplished” liar and disputed her affidavit completely.

He further claimed that someone coached Mngoma and wrote her affidavit in such a way “to put in a sequence that makes sense but it doesn’t make sense”.

Gigaba told the Commission that Mngoma approached him in January this year and made several propositions to him.

He said Mngoma asked him to finalize their divorce and agree on a settlement amount because "she cannot walk away with nothing".

She also allegedly asked him to withdraw the criminal case against her where she damaged his friend's vehicle.

Thirdly, Gigaba said, she told him that she could withdraw from giving evidence at the State Capture Commission if he wanted, but then told a media house that he was trying to bribe her to withdraw from the Commission.

He denied that Ajay Gupta told him about his ministerial appointments before they happened. He also denied that he was informed of any cabinet changes or changes at state-owned enterprises before it happened.

Anoj Singh

Former Transnet CFO Anoj Singh took the stand for two days giving evidence related to dodgy transactions that saw the Gupta enterprise pocket billions of Rands during his tenure.

Zondo called on Singh to explain how the Guptas were able to get away with billions of rands under his watch at the parastatal, saying Singh was either party to their agenda or simply too incompetent to notice.

“Either you were party to their agenda or you were so incompetent that you couldn’t see all of this. There may be another scenario, but I can’t think of anything else,” Zondo said.

He also stunned the Inquiry when he said that the highly irregular contract for the procurement of 1064 locomotives - that set the scene for the greatest Gupta looting - was “quite a significant achievement” in South African history.

Political Bureau

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