‘Bigger than Arms Deal’: NPA, AFU seek recovering R50bn in state capture probe

JOHANNESBURG — When it rains, it pours – or so the saying goes. And the Guptas, I suspect, will be in a flat-panic in the coming days, weeks and months as local authorities finally turn up the heat on state capture. Despite being led by the pathetic Shaun ‘the Sheep’ Abrahams, the NPA (through its Asset Forfeiture Unit) is finding itself (amid a changed political climate) finally acting on a looting scandal that could become the biggest corruption case in South African. Investigators are swooping in on McKinsey and Gupta-linked Trillian, but from there, the probe could escalate. In fact, the acting head of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit, Advocate, Malini Govender, told eNCA’s Karyn Maughan on Tuesday that the state capture investigation, which seeks to recover R50bn, is “bigger than the [R30bn] Arms Deal”. If Shaun the Sheep is forced to walk the plank in coming days, expect more prosecutorial sharks to enter the state capture waters. It’s about to get very exciting. – Gareth van Zyl

Chopped. High court rules NPA head Shaun Abrahams must vacate position. More cartoon magic available at www.zapiro.com.

By Amogelang Mbatha

Bloomberg) — South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority, through its Asset Forfeiture Unit, is seeking to recover about 50 billion rand ($4 billion) worth of assets from 17 cases it’s pursuing relating to “state capture.”

The Asset Forfeiture Unit has six cases in court related to state capture, a term used to describe influence over government appointments and the awarding of state contracts, Knorx Molelle, the unit’s acting head of operations, said in an interview with Johannesburg-based broadcaster eNCA on Tuesday.

Prosecutors earlier on Tuesday obtained an order to freeze 1.6 billion rand of assets held by McKinsey & Co. and Trillian Capital Partners in what’s seen as the first significant response to corruption allegations against the politically connected Gupta family, who are close friends with President Jacob Zuma. The two companies will have 90 days to show their contracts with various state-owned entities were lawfully awarded. Zuma and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing.

Read also: Zuma probe clears everyone, himself and ANC included, of Arms Deal bribery

“I’m encouraged by the investigations and decisions by the Asset Forfeiture Unit to deal with certain contracts at Eskom and take action against certain individuals,” Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told reporters. State power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. has been roiled by allegations that it’s linked to the Gupta family.

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