Shamila Batohi
Shamila Batohi

State Capture: Heads will roll this year

By shaun smillie Time of article published Jan 11, 2020

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Johannesburg - The new year of the new decade comes with the wish of a colour. The wish voiced by Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba is that 2020 will be the year of the orange jumpsuit, when finally those implicated in state capture will swop their Armani suits for prison garb.

South Africans have become frustrated with the apparent lack of progress in bringing corrupt officials and politicians to book.

But National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head advocate Shamila Batohi and her team have been slowly making inroads and the new year will see some alleged state capture affiliates appearing in the dock.

They might not yet be dressed in orange, but for them the wheels of justice have begun to turn.

The following developments give cause for hope:

Former State Security minister Bongani Bongo is set to appear in the Western Cape High Court on charges of bribery.

Bongo is accused of offering advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara, the evidence leader on a parliamentary commission of inquiry into irregularities at Eskom, a blank cheque.

Bongo has denied this.

Just as South Africans were about to head off for their December holidays, the news came of the arrest of four men, including a former Eskom group executive, on charges of fraud and corruption.

Former group capital division executive Abram Masango and France Hlakudi, former Eskom senior manager for group capital division, appeared alongside businessmen Antonio Jose da Costa Trindade and Hudson Kgomoeswana in the Johannesburg Regional Court on December 19, 2019.

This is for their alleged role in fraudulent contracts and corruption amounting to R745 million in the construction of the Kusile coal-fired power station.

The state has accused the two former Eskom officials of each obtaining R30m in bribes.

Da Costa Trindade and Kgomoeswana are representatives of the companies that allegedly paid the bribes. The four were remanded until May 25.

In the Eastern Cape, 10 arrests were made in connection with a multimillion-rand toilet tender in November 21.

The tender allegedly involved three corporate companies - Blue Nightingale Trading. t/a Siyenza, Siyenza Prospectors and Siyenza Eastern Cape.

The R617m tender to build 60 000 toilets in the Amathole district was allegedly never advertised.

A third of the funds were allegedly transferred to the accused.

They are to appear in the East London High Court on February 5.

Media reports last month suggested that a number of top former executives in Eskom, Transnet and firms linked to these entities could be arrested this month.

Those fingered in alleged corruption, money laundering and racketeering include former Transnet CFO Anoj Singh, former Eskom and Transnet CEO Brian Molefe, and former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama.

Then there are those alleged dons of state capture: the Gupta brothers. Recently they had their applications to have their South African passports renewed cancelled.

The Special Investigating Unit and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola have slammed the United Arab Emirates for failing to co-operate with South Africa in sending the Gupta brothers home to face trial.

Saturday Star

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