According to the first part of the Zondo Commission’s enquiry into state capture and corruption report, which was delivered on Tuesday, State-owned enterprises (SOEs), under Zuma's administration, unlawfully spent R240 million from the state to benefit Gupta businesses.
The report revealed that the Government central communications agency, GCIS, used R34 million with The New Age (TNA), a daily newspaper that was owned by the Gupta family, while Eskom contributed close to R60 million, and Transnet gave over R147 million.
“The TNA investigation conducted by the Commission has shown that contracts concluded between TNA and Transnet, Eskom and SAA were not only irregular but wasteful, too,” said Zondo. “The requirements of the Public Finance Management Act made "every one of the TNA contracts unlawful.”
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela said there should be consequences for the reported corruption but that it should not be acted on hastily and that the legal process should take the lead. “Just knowing the truth gives us an opportunity to fix what has been broken,” she said.
R1 billion of taxpayer money on report
Almost R1 billion of taxpayer money was spent by the Zondo probe, according to Justice Zondo.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) welcomed the findings and said that it is imperative that authorities proceed to act on what was shown by the work conducted by the commission.
“There are no acceptable excuses anymore. We demand action now. A lot of money has been spent on investigating corruption allegations by the Zondo Commission, and workers demand value for their tax Rand.
“What is needed now is for the National Prosecuting Authority and the South African Police Service to act swiftly upon its recommendations, to charge and prosecute the implicated, and ensure that they are brought to justice,” said Cosatu.
The union said it hoped that this would represent the end of a regrettable chapter of corruption and looting in the country that hopefully South Africa will never have another Commission of Inquiry investigating corruption, and that lessons have been learnt by the government.
Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen said: “The DA will ensure that judge Raymond Zondo’s findings, after a four-year-long Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, are implemented. South Africans deserve justice for the estimated R1 trillion looted through ANC corruption over the past decade and the subsequent decline of our country and its people in the shadow of political greed.”
Ball passed to Hawks and NPA
The ball now falls on the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) court to act against those fingered in malfeasance by the report.
Zondo made damning allegations against former president Jacob Zuma, former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni, former Sars national commissioner Tom Moyane, as well as former Transnet boss Brian Molefe.
Hawks national spokesperson Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo told Independent Media that the government’s anti-corruption task team still needed to study the report.
“The report was released only yesterday, it’s still early days, and all anti-corruption task team stakeholders still have to go through it, identify elements that require investigation and by which entity. Only then will we know which cases will be allocated to the Hawks,” Mbambo said.
Additional reporting by Political Bureau...
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE