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Thursday, June 30, 2022

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State capture noose tightens

Commissioner of inquiry into the State Capture Chairperson Judge Ray Zondo handing over the State Capture report to the RSA President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Building in Pretoria. Photo: Kopano Tlape GCIS

Commissioner of inquiry into the State Capture Chairperson Judge Ray Zondo handing over the State Capture report to the RSA President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Building in Pretoria. Photo: Kopano Tlape GCIS

Published May 8, 2022


Durban - THE DAY of reckoning is approaching for those implicated in state capture, the National Prosecuting Authority promised after part four of the Zondo Commission report was released to the Presidency last week.

With the capture of power utility Eskom being the sole focus of the latest report, Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) is set to meet this week to scrutinise the issues of corruption and capture that were raised.

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Mkhuleko Hlengwa, Scopa’s chairperson, said that they would be adopting the report at the meeting, and he was not prepared to speak about Eskom matters ahead of the meeting.

However, NPA spokesperson advocate Mthunzi Mhaga said they had conducted investigations based on all four parts of the state capture report released to date.

Mhaga was confident their investigations were heading in the right direction, given the evidence they had collated, and that matters “may be enrolled in the coming months”.

“Work has been under way on state capture in other cases, which includes other SOES, in respect of the previous reports we received. We have set up a task force to co-ordinate and prioritise these cases.

“We can assure South Africans that we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that those implicated in corruption and state capture are successfully prosecuted,” Mhaga said.

He said that the NPA had met with Eskom to discuss appropriate collaboration on state capture cases and other Eskom-related organised crimes, and that the Investigating Directorate had mobilised 82 investigations, enrolled 20 cases, and thus far netted 65 accused involved in state capture cases.

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“Holding to account those most responsible is a priority for both entities, considering the devastating impact these crimes are having on the country’s development and economic prospects, which affected poor and vulnerable people the most,” Mhaga said.

Sizwe Pamla, spokesperson for Tripartite Alliance partner Cosatu, suggested the relevant state institutions, including the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), the Hawks, the NPA, SAPS, the Asset Forfeiture Unit and others, investigate the allegations arising from the report, and prosecute those fingered.

“They should imprison those who deserve to go to prison, get back the assets that have been stolen from South Africans, where there are grounds for the assets to be attached. How people feel about the report at a political level has got nothing to do with the report,” Pamla said.

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“This report should be handed over to state institutions, and there should be no interference in how they investigate, charge and prosecute implicated individuals.”

Pamla said evidence collected should determine the course of action that should be implemented.

Findings in the latest report indicated that Mosebenzi Zwane was appointed minister of mineral resources because the Gupta brothers sanctioned his appointment due to his ties with them.

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It also emerged that advocate Ngoako Ramathlodi was removed as minister of mineral resources and deployed as public service and administration minister for refusing to co-operate with the Guptas.

“It is quite clear on the evidence that Mr Zwane was appointed minister because the Guptas wanted him to be appointed to that position or because of his connection with the Guptas,” read the report.

“This is reinforced by the identities of the two persons whom Mr Zwane appointed as his advisers after he was appointed minister.

“The two persons were Kuben Moodley and Malcolm Mabaso, both of whom were proved to have business links with the Guptas,” it added.

It also found that the acquisition of Optimum Coal Mine by Gupta-owned company Tegeta, under the ruse that the payment was a pre-payment for coal supplies, was a sham.

This, the report found, was confirmed by the findings of a cash flow analysis showing that R659 million was paid towards the acquisition price of Optimum Coal Holdings (OCH) by Tegeta, as was the R1.68 billion guarantee which was used to prove to OCH bankers that Tegeta was good for the acquisition price.