Ajay and Atul Gupta, seated
17 February 2021
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) briefed Parliament’s finance watchdog on Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (Prasa) on Wednesday, detailing some of the corrupt activities and what actions they have taken. The SIU also briefed Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on other parastatals Eskom and Transnet.
The committee heard that SIU was investigating a Rand2.3billion contract for 20 locomotives that were never delivered. The SIU said a number of officials who have been dismissed will also face criminal charges.
In a separate case, a commission headed by Deputy Chief Justice, inquiring into corruption during Jacob Zuma’s time as president will ask the constitutional court to impose a jail term for contempt of court, on the former leader after he defied an order to appear before the inquiry on Monday.
Zuma denied wrongdoing while not cooperating with the commission of inquiry.
The allegations against Zuma include that he allowed businessmen close to him, three brothers Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta, to plunder state resources and influence government policy. After Guptas’ corruption became public, South Africa’s banks cut ties with the Guptas. An investigation by the South African Reserve Bank, the nation’s central bank, found that Bank of Baroda’s internal systems had flagged about 4,000 suspicious transactions in the Guptas’ accounts. Bank of Baroda finally left South Africa for good. The Gupta empire was getting squeezed. Locked out of banks, the brothers could not pay their employees or debts. Cornered, they sold a mining company and their media empire in quick succession. Many of their remaining companies filed for bankruptcy protection and are now managed by outside supervisors. The Gupta brothers fled the country to Dubai. Ten days later Zuma resigned.
US$1 = 14.66 South African Rand
ewn.co.za and Yahoo Finance reported.