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EDINBURGH — Many people have been caught and captured in the Zupta strategy to seize control of state assets. While Brian Molefe, the on-again-off-again boss of Eskom, is an obvious player in the game of corruption, suspicions have swirled around other individuals. A report by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on state capture contained damning allegations against senior ministers. These included a politician, Mcebisi Jonas, being promised staggering sums to do the dirty work of the Gupta family while holding the position of finance minister. Jonas, former deputy minister of finance, turned down the R600m golden handcuffs and was sidelined in politics. Yet, not even Madonsela’s report was enough to stir action within ANC leadership structures or the police and prosecution services to make concerted moves eject President Jacob Zuma, clean up government and hold people to account. Now, a massive databank of emails has been leaked to independent investigative journalists. The teams are sifting through the #GuptaLeaks correspondence as they build evidence against the people who have worked with Zuma and the Gupta family to enrich themselves at the expense of the nation. – Jackie Cameron
The Gupta and Zuma families have been able to access state funds by securing jobs for pals across the public sector. Times Live journalists have firmed up evidence on at least 10 directors of state-owned enterprises Denel, Eskom and Transnet who have worked in Zupta interests.
Malusi Gigaba, South Africa’s new – unqualified – finance minister, and his successor as Public Enterprises minister, Lynne Brown, are evidently loyal Zupta allies.
Writing for the Daily Maverick, Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos says there is enough in the #GuptaLeaks to prove several government ministers – including Brown and Gigaba – have been captured by the Guptas. These ministers have allowed compromised directors and officials at state-owned enterprises to continue working in the interests of Zupta – a combination of Zuma and Gupta – is his message.
A regular character in the Gupta links to these directors is associate Salim Essa, who has in the past shared co-directorships with many of those appointed to sit on the boards of Eskom and Transnet,” note Kyle Cowan, Graeme Hosken and Genevieve Quintal of Times Live.
The directors in the Times Live Zupta ‘rogues gallery’
Times Live journalists have pieced together links between Zupta and the following 10 SOE board members:
1. Iqbal Sharma: Gigaba appointed him to the Transnet board in December 2010 and attempted to appoint him as chairman in June 2011 but it was vetoed by the cabinet because of his links to the Guptas. Gigaba then created Transnet’s acquisitions and disposals board to supervise infrastructure tenders valued at over R2.5-billion and appointed Sharma as the chair who oversaw R25-billion in tenders awarded to China South Rail, says Times Live;
2. Brian Molefe: Gigaba appointed him Transnet CEO in February 2011 where he signed off on the CSR locomotive tender, among others. When the Guptas acquired Optimum Coal, which supplied the utility with coal, Molefe was CEO of Eskom and oversaw the process. His role in that was questioned in public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report;
3. Anoj Singh: Gigaba appointed him Transnet CFO in July 2012. He and Molefe signed off on Gupta-linked Transnet contracts. Brown oversaw his appointment as Eskom CFO in October 2015;
4. Mark Pamensky: Brown appointed him to Eskom’s board in March 2014. Until May 2017 he sat on the Oakbay board. He resigned as Eskom director in November 2016 after the release of the State of Capture report. He denies any impropriety;
5. Viroshini Naidoo: Gigaba appointed her to the Eskom board in June 2011. Her husband, Kuben Moodley, is special adviser to Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, whose links to the Guptas have been widely reported;
6. Ben Ngubane: Brown appointed him to Eskom’s board in December 2014. He was a co-director with Essa of natural resources exploration company, Gade Oil and Gas;
7. Romeo Kumalo: Brown appointed him to Eskom’s board in December 2014. Kumalo resigned in April 2016. He was a co-director with Essa in Ujiri Mining;
8. Nazia Carrim: Brown appointed her to Eskom’s board in December 2014. She is married to Essa’s cousin, Muhammed Noor Hussein;
9. Thamsanqa Msomi: Currently adviser to Gigaba. Leaked e-mails show he was the alleged middleman between Gigaba and Gupta family associates seeking visa favours for their associates from Home Affairs. Msomi denies acting irregularly. Brown later appointed him to Denel’s board in 2015; and
10. Collin Matjila: Gigaba appointed him to Eskom’s board in June 2011 where he chaired the tender committee and irregularly signed The New Age breakfast sponsorship benefiting the Guptas, which helped them start their TV station, ANN7. He allegedly pushed for a “balance sheet optimisation contract” in which Essa’s Trillian company stood to score more than R400-million by reclassifying the prices of Eskom’s coal resources.
About #GuptaLeaks: Journalists are slowly sifting through the information to build evidence that President Jacob Zuma and friends have embarked on a calculating, wide-ranging and self-serving strategy to unsettle the South African political landscape in order to create access to funds. A daily digest and commentaries on the most important #GuptaLeaks finds are available here on BizNews.
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