Breakdown of SA’s criminal justice system exposed
Publish date: 10 August 2017
Issue Number: 128
Diary: Legalbrief Forensic
Category: State capture
The two most profound pieces of knowledge coming from the #GuptaLeaks are most probably the frightening depth and breadth of the rot exposed and the shameless display of a justice system that has completely broken down, says a Daily Maverick report. During the panel discussion at The Gathering – Media Edition held last week, News24 editor Adriaan Basson highlighted what should have happened the moment the first story based on the #GuptaLeaks landed at the end of May: The police should immediately have announced a ‘crack squad’ of the best police officers in the country to investigate the allegations exposed by the media. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should have appointed a team to guide the Hawks to ensure a proper, prosecution-driven investigation while freezing bank accounts and assets. But nothing like this happened. ‘The breakdown of a criminal justice system is completely exposed by the #GuptaLeaks,’ Basson said.
Also, the SA business sector received a warning from Sipho Pityana, chair of AngloGold Ashanti and convener of the Save South Africa campaign, in the panel discussion on the responsibility of business as a voice in the media and in politics. ‘Today it is journalists who are under threat, tomorrow it will be business,’ Fin24 quotes Pityana as saying. ‘We are only on the tip of the state capture iceberg and are starting to see the extent to which state-owned enterprises and some companies are implicated.’ He encouraged business to take a stand and raise its voice to ensure integrity in the business community, and said he would like to see organised business isolating those who are involved in unlawful activities and make examples of them. Pityana is quoted in the report as saying: ‘Companies must now get off the fence and decide which side of history they want to be on, because the National Prosecuting Authority does not prosecute and the Public Protector is not worthy of the title. We must stand up and fight to ensure we reclaim our country from the crooks. There is, therefore, a big shift in business to take on state capture. The best way is to encourage doing so in an organised fashion and to hold people responsible. The private sector should also ensure that the media remains independent.’
The latest #GuptaLeaks reported by investigative units Scorpio and amaBhungane have revealed that:
* New evidence shows it was not only President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane, but also his fourth wife, Bongi Ngema-Zuma and their young son – and by extension he – that benefited from Gupta largesse. According to a Daily Maverick report, the #GuptaLeaks show that millions were paid towards an exclusive property purchase – trashing years of denial. The evidence also suggests that some of the money that found its way to the purchase was the proceeds of bribery, laundered from the UAE. The report says while countless questions about Zuma’s relationship with the Guptas remain, the #GuptaLeaks do, at the very least, shed light on their relationship with Ngema-Zuma. In addition to the bond payments, Ngema-Zuma was also employed by the Guptas’ JIC Mining Services for a while as of 2010. In 2011, JIC CEO Jacques le Roux told amaBhungane that Ngema-Zuma ‘contributes in an important way towards JIC’s corporate goals and has the respect and admiration of all her colleagues’. amaBhungane and Scorpio reported that Ngema-Zuma’s last official act at JIC (at least as revealed in the #GuptaLeaks) was to co-ordinate the company’s year-end party in 2011.
* Quebec-based Bombardier Inc, the Canadian multinational aerospace and transportation manufacturer, currently finds itself in a heap of trouble on multiple fronts. The Daily Maverick reports that, although Bombardier is all but bulletproof in Ottawa, the collision between Bombardier’s political role at home and its activities abroad are becoming increasingly difficult to square. According to amaBhungane and Scorpio, Bombardier’s aerospace division heavily courted the Guptas in order to sell them at least one of their Global 6000-BD-700-1A10 business jets. In doing so, the Canadian giant paired up, as it so often does, with Export Development Canada (EDC), the state-owned lending institution that serves as a credit agency for Canadian exporters. The report says the Gupta deal, which culminated at the end of 2014, exposes both the manufacturer and the EDC to allegations that they may have flouted Canadian regulations pertaining to their involvement with ‘politically exposed’ foreign nationals – and were at best asleep, and at worst willfully derelict, when performing their due diligence investigations.