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The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State
Background and context of Corruption Watch’s interest in the state capture commission
The work of Corruption Watch is driven by the reports of corruption that whistle-blowers bring to us. The success of the Zondo Commission will, in large part, depend equally on whistle-blowers to provide it with the evidence it needs to effectively investigate state capture. Download an overview of the commission from a Corruption Watch point of view:
Zondo Commission overview and context for Corruption Watch
All of our Zondo Commission coverage is contained in the accordion below. Simply click on a month to open up all our articles for that month, and click on it again, or click on another month, to close it.
Testimony from day 2 – 21 August 2018
The National Treasury’s acting chief procurement officer, Ndleleni Mathebula, unpacked the inner workings of government’s massive procurement system.
22 and 23 August 2018
The commission is on recess for two days until Friday, 24 August 2018.
What is a commission of inquiry?
In order to understand the complexities of the Zondo Commission, it is very important to also understand what a commission of inquiry is, its origins in this country, and what level of authority it has. This opinion piece, first published in City Press in November 2016, provides this information under the title Do commissions of inquiry have teeth?.
The short voice note discussions answer the following questions:
24 August 2018
Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas delivered extraordinary testimony of how he was approached by a member of the Gupta family and offered a bribe of R600-million to take over as finance minister and work according to the Guptas’ agenda.
Jonas’ full testimony
Video clip 1 / video clip 2
Day 4 and 5 – 27 and 28 August 2018
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor started her testimony by providing context to her early meetings with the Guptas and former president Jacob Zuma. On day two she gave details of a meeting at the Gupta home in Saxonwold, at which Jacob Zuma was present, as well as an indication of the lack of interest from ANC leadership at her concerns expressed in this regard.
Vytjie Mentor part 1 | Vytjie Mentor part 2
Mentor has a strongly supportive family who travelled long distances to be with her as she testified. We spoke to her sister to find out what makes this brave woman tick.
Vytjie Mentor through her sister’s eyes
Day 5 and 6 – 28 and 29 August 2018
In his testimony, former GCIS head Themba Maseko echoed Jonas and Mentor in questioning the conduct of the Hawks.
Themba Maseko part 1 | Themba Maseko part 2 | Themba Maseko part 3
CASAC to oppose extension
CASAC intends to oppose the extension of the commission’s period of operation. Read the organisation’s rationale here.
31 August and 3 September 2018
Acting DG of the government communication and information system, Phumla Williams, testified that former communications minister Faith Muthambi damaged the organisation to an extent that it will take some time to recover.
Phumla Williams part 1 | Phumla Williams part 2
4 September 2018
Faith Muthambi responded to Phumla Williams, describing her as ’emotionally unhinged’.
6 September 2018
Justice Zondo heard applications from implicated persons, to cross-examine those who named them.
Applications to cross-examine
10 September 2018
Jan Gilliland, a senior official within the National Treasury, testified that the Guptas got just under R250-million in payments from government for their media companies.
13 September 2018
The Gupta brothers Ajay and Rakesh, who are currently in Dubai, have tried to force the hand of the Zondo Commission by imposing conditions under which they would testify. Consequently, their application was denied.
Zondo denies Guptas
Justice Zondo has granted Duduzane Zuma permission to cross-examine Mcebisi Jonas, who implicated him in the Guptas’ offer to him of money and a top cabinet position, provided he would do their bidding.
Duduzane Zuma application granted
Justice Zondo has asked former president Jacob Zuma to submit his version of events in which he was implicated.
Jacob Zuma asked for input
14 September 2018
Former president Jacob Zuma is willing to co-operate with the Zondo Commission. However, he says that his decision not to cross-examine witnesses is being viewed as non-co-operation.
Zuma questions existence of state capture
17 September 2018
Testimony from Standard Bank revealed that cabinet ministers tried to put pressure on the bank after it made the decision to close accounts of the Guptas.
Standard Bank threatened after decision to close Gupta accounts.
18 September 2018
Witnesses from FNB and Absa came forward today to substantiate Standard Bank’s claim of government interference in the closure of Gupta bank accounts.
More banks claim government interference
19 September 2018
Nedbank was expected to pick up where the other three big banks left off, by becoming the Gupta family’s banker – this is the impression that Nedbank CEO Mike Brown got when he met with ANC officials.
Nedbank grilled by ANC over Gupta account closures
21 September 2018
Ajay Gupta, implicated in numerous instance of state capture, has claimed that he never met with Mcebisi Jonas to offer him a R600-million bribe and in fact, was somewhere else when the meeting was supposed to have happened.
Ajay Gupta refures Mcebisi Jonas’ meeting and bribery claim
28 September 2018
The Zondo Commission’s legal team has made an application for the so-called #GuptaLeaks e-mails to be admitted as evidence. In this case, the commission will be obligated to investigate them, according to its mandate.
#GuptaLeaks e-mails enter the picture.
3 October 2018
For the first time since his dismissal on 9 December 2015, finance minister Nhlanhla Nene revealed details of the sequence of events leading up to that day. Nene was reappointed as finance minister on 27 February 2018.
Nhlanhla Nene opens up about 2015 dismissal
Photos of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene at the Zondo Commission. Photographer: Kwazi Dlamini, Corruption Watch.
10 October 2018
The commission of inquiry into state capture has been postponed to 12 November when it will hear the evidence of former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan.
Commission will reconvene on 12 November
12 November 2018
Former public services minister Barbara Hogan, who was named in the testimony of Vytjie Mentor in August, appeared before the commission today and gave details of how former president Jacob Zuma pressured her to appoint a Transnet CEO of his choosing – one who was not as suitable as the board’s choice, and who at the time was involved in a misconduct disciplinary process to boot.
Barbara Hogan tells commission of Zuma’s meddling
13 November 2018
Former Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga, at the time leading up to his departure from the power utility in late 2009, was a chief executive who had gone rogue, understanding that he had the backing of the president. This is the description of former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan during her second day of testimony.
Zuma interfered in Eskom leadership
14 November 2018
Barbara Hogan wraps up her testimony, describing former president Jacob Zuma’s complete disregard for good governance in SEOs, while Mwanzele Manyi gets his day before the commission, defending the controversial changes he made while head of GCIS.
Hogans describes Zuma interference in SAA
Manyi defends the changes he made in GCIS
15 November 2018
The Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture sat briefly on Thursday morning to deal only with procedural matters involving the return of two witnesses, former MP Vytjie Mentor and former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, who testified in August and October respectively.
Nene, Mentor set to make second appearance
16 November 2018 – week 13 overview
After a month-long break, the Zondo Commission into allegations of state capture resumed on 12 November, and immediately gave South Africans much to think about. From former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan detailing the interference of former president Jacob Zuma in leadership issues in SOEs, to former GCIS head Mzwanele Manyi pointing fingers at his successor Phumla Williams, it was an interesting first week back.
Week 13 overview
19 November 2018
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan made his highly anticipated appearance before the commission. Gordhan revealed information that showed how keen the South African government was in 2014 to secure the nuclear deal with Russia.
Gordhan tells of government’s push to secure nuclear deal
Read Gordhan’s full statement to the commission.
20 November 2018
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan continued with his testimony, which is expected to wrap up on Wednesday 21 November. He described the efforts made by the Zuma government to push him out of Treasury.
Gordhan was aware of moves to eliminate him
21 November 2018
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said that a general fear of retribution from powerful people in the state capture machinery was a big reason that many in the ruling party have not reported corruption they see happening. Gordhan finished his testimony and was followed by former treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile.
Gordhan defends fearful state capture whistle-blowers
Recalling the events of December 2015, former treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile said that in retrospect, it all fits like a hand in glove – that this is how the takeover of departments is designed. He added that a similar pattern of events had happened at the Department of Mineral Resources, which was taken over by Mosebenzi Zwane in September of that year.
Fuzile describes plan to put Gupta stooges in senior treasury posts
22 November 2018
Former finance minister Des van Rooyen’s stay in Treasury in late 2015 may have been a uniquely short one, but it had serious consequences for the department – particularly then director-general Lungisa Fuzile – largely because of his lack of attention and appreciation for protocol and procedure.
Van Rooyen’s disregard for proper Treasury procedure
Insults and derogatory statements, such as those made yesterday by EFF leader Julius Malema, severely undermines the seriousness of the work being done by the Zondo Commission, and could negatively influence the willingness of witnesses to give vital testimony. CW has called on Deputy Chief Justice Zondo to hold Malema to account for his disrespectful words.
Corruption Watch press statement
23 November 2018 – week 14 overview
A treasury in disarray – this was the main focus of this week’s testimony at the Zondo Commission. Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his former director-general Lungisa Fuzile painted a disturbing – and at times, amusing – picture of the goings-on in National Treasury during 2014 and 2015.
Week 14 overview
26 November 2018
Former treasury spokesperson Phumza Macanda told the Zondo Commission that she, like her former colleagues who have testified before her, had the impression that Des van Rooyen did not know the two advisors he brought along to the department when he was appointed finance minister in 2015.
Van Rooyen in over his head
27 November 2018
“The commission will not consider what is said outside the commission and in media, and anyone with credible evidence should come forward and give it,” said Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, responding to allegations made by the EFF against public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and the commission’s head of legal Paul Pretorius.
Commission will only consider evidence placed before it
29 November 2018
In December 2010, just weeks into Cheryl Carolus’ tenure as chairperson of South African Airways, former public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba sought to impose a private Indian-based airliner on the leadership of SAA.
Gigaba wanted Carolus to relinquish Jhb-Mumbai route to Indian airline
5 December 2018
The commission of inquiry into state capture announced on Tuesday that it had halted its public hearings until January. The date of the recommencement of the hearings, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, will be announced next month.
Zondo Commission postponed to 2019
15 January 2019
Angelo Agrizzi, the former chief operations officer of controversial facilities management company Bosasa, is the first person to testify before the state capture commission this year. On Wednesday he revealed that the company spent between R4-million and R6-million monthly for bribes to senior government officials on the company’s payroll.
Bosasa spent millions on govt bribes
17 January 2019
On day two of testimony from former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi, attendees watched video evidence that showed CEO Gavin Watson and two of his directors packing and arranging stacks of money while inside a vault at the company offices.
Govt officials kept loyal to Bosasa with bribes
18 January 2019
Bosasa – which enjoys a large number of government contracts – generated cash that would be used to bribe public officials in return for their loyalty and favours., said the company’s former COO Angelo Agrizzi on his third day of testimony.
Money laundering the Bosasa way
Commission secretary Khotso De Wee is on special leave while an investigation into allegations of corruption against him ensues. De Wee was implicated in the statement of former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi, who said that De Wee was one of the senior officials of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development who received bribes from Bosasa.
Zondo Commission secretary implicated in Bosasa bribery
21 January 2019
Bosasa, now African Global Operations, was at the beck and call of former environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane for the most part, said Agrizzi, even paying for rented cars for as long as three months at a time for her daughter, during her visits from her studies in China.
Bosasa at Nomvula Mokonyane’s beck and call
22 January 2019
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi says not only is the Department of Correctional Services captured, but the members of Parliament charged with overseeing its affairs have long been in the pocket of Bosasa, one of its biggest contractors.
Bosasa captured the correctional services department
Linda Mti, former national commissioner for the Department of Correctional Services, continued to benefit financially for his part for years, despite his resignation from government in late 2006. Mti was but one recipient of largesse from Bosasa, which manages the catering and security services contracts at correctional services across the country.
Prisons catering deal was a cash cow for Bosasa and friends
The chairperson of the commission on inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, on Tuesday announced the appointment of Peter Pedlar as acting secretary of the commission. Pedlar replaces Dr Khotso De Wee, who is currently on special leave pending an investigation into his implication in corruption by a witness.
Peter Pedlar announced as acting secretary
23 January 2019
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi told the commission of inquiry how he and other directors had to destroy evidence when they first discovered that the Special Investigating Unit was coming after the company.
Bosasa’s cat and mouse game with SIU investigators
The Special Investigating Unit recommended as far back as 2009 that the Department of Correctional Services take action against its former national commissioner and CFO, Linda Mti and Patrick Gillingham respectively, for their irregular dealings with Bosasa. To date, this has not happened.
SIU recommended action against Bosasa, DCS crooks in 2009
24 January 2019
With key National Prosecuting Authority people in its pocket, Bosasa could keep tabs on the progress of the case against the company, and therefore influence its direction.
SIU’s Bosasa investigation compromised by NPA bribees
Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson allegedly boasted about playing puppeteer with former president Jacob Zuma to his colleague Angelo Agrizzi and former commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services Linda Mti.
Bosasa executives privy to sensitive details of NPA case against them
Former South African Airways chairperson Dudu Myeni was on Bosasa’s payroll, receiving R300 000 per month. She was the conduit between Bosasa and former president Jacob Zuma.
Myeni, Zuma helped smooth the way for Bosasa.
29 January 2019
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi, still in the witness chair, outlined numerous plans by CEO Gavin Watson and his brothers to buy Agrizzi’s silence over the corrupt activities he had seen and taken part in, in his almost 20 years with Bosasa.
Agrizzi asked to take the fall for Watson et al
An audio recording played on Tuesday morning revealed witness Angelo Agrizzi making racist, derogatory remarks in the company of other people.
“I am a racist,” says Agrizzi
30 January 2019
From a fake prawn farm and duping the South African Revenue Service (Sars) through falsified financials, to violating immigration laws, former Bosasa CFO Andries van Tonder participated in many compromising dealings in his two-decade career at the company.
Van Tonder corroborates Agrizzi’s testimony regarding Bosasa shenanigans
31 January 2019
Cabinet ministers Gwede Mantashe and Nomvula Mokonyane, and deputy minister of correctional services Thabang Makwetla, were named among those who benefited from home security and general maintenance work paid for by the company over some years.
Mantashe, Mokonyane got free home improvements and maintenance from Bosasa
Former Bosasa IT head Leon van Tonder testified of his participation in the illegal deletion of files relating to the multi-million-rand catering contract with the Department of Correctional Services, a contract that was in the spotlight of the Special Investigating Unit.
Former IT head told to delete incriminating data from Bosasa servers
5 February 2019
n assortment of witnesses appeared before the commission of inquiry into state capture on Tuesday, all giving evidence relating to Bosasa. They included Adriaan Basson, editor-in-chief of News24, who related how Bosasa employees and service providers threatened him during the time he was investigating the company.
Bosasa employees and service providers threatened journalists
7 February 2019
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi is out on R20 000 bail, having been arrested this week on fraud and money-laundering charges. Appearing alongside him at the bail hearing were erstwhile colleagues Andries van Tonder, the former CFO of Bosasa; former Bosasa fleet manager Frans Vorster; former CFO of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), Patrick Gillingham; and others.
Bosasa execs and pals charged 10 years after SIU investigation
11 February 2019
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor returned to the hot seat at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday, to answer to allegations she had made in an affidavit last year. Most of the morning’s proceedings focused on travel records of both Mentor and some of the people she had implicated in her testimony in August 2018.
Vytjie Mentor returns to be cross-examined
12 February 2019
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor stuck to her guns on Tuesday, not deviating from evidence she has submitted to the commission of inquiry into state capture regarding the issue of the Gupta brothers being part of an August 2012 state visit to China, led by former president Jacob Zuma.
Mentor presses on despite discrepancies in testimony
13 February 2019
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, despite being pressed, would not budge on the veracity of her version of the evidence. Mentor faced the legal representatives of former chief of staff in the office of Jacob Zuma, Lakela Kaunda, and advocate Mandla Mtolo of the Hawks. Both questioned her version of events.
Mentor cross-examination reveals inconsistencies
14 February 2019
The credibility of former MP Vytjie Mentor’s evidence to the state capture commission took another knock on Thursday with the testimony of architect Erna Wiese in relation to the layout of the Gupta family home in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. Mentor alleges a meeting occurred in 2010 between herself and Ajay Gupta. Wiese was part of a team of senior architects, valuers and surveyors who accompanied Mentor and a team from the commission on an inspection of the house.
Mentor’s recollection of Gupta house inconsistent with expert findings
The testimony of IPID executive director Robert McBride was postponed indefinitely on Thursday, because his sworn statement was only received late on Wednesday, and as a result the commission’s lawyers had not had sufficient time to notify the people implicated in his evidence.
McBride testimony postponed until implicated persons have been notified
18 February 2019
Former finance minister Des van Rooyen’s application to cross-examine the department’s former director-general Lungisa Fuzile at the commission of inquiry into state capture was postponed on Monday, because of logistical issues raised by the commission chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Van Rooyen’s application to cross-examine former finance DG on hold
19 February 2019
National Treasury’s chief director of macro-economic policy, Catherine MacLeod, testified at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Tuesday, giving insight into the damage caused to the economy by former president Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffles, specifically because of the negative reaction of financial markets.
Zuma’s agenda-driven cabinet reshuffles created havoc in financial markets
20 February 2019
Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza will testify before the commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday, and is expected to give insight into the financial status of the power utility when the new board took over last year. Essentially, the events of 2015, the commencement year of the R3-billion contract with coal supplier Tegeta, will form a large part of the evidence sought by the commission for the coming few weeks.
Eskom’s procurement processes to be closely scrutinised
21 February 2019
Wednesday, 20 February, marked the beginning of the commission’s focus on state-owned entities in the state capture project, with Eskom first in line.
Eskom’s disregard of procurement processes in the spotlight
22 February 2019
Overdue announcement of results, a bad credit record, no funding, and threats of no further funding. This is the Eskom Jabu Mabuza and the rest of the board found when they started in January last year. The board inherited a financially unstable company, and there have been many hurdles to overcome.
Eskom, from world’s top five to total dysfunctionality
Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza has told the commission of inquiry into state capture that it is important for the utility to have the confidence of investors and funders, because it relies heavily on this for survival.
Eskom must have investor confidence to survive
25 February 2019
Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza concluded his appearance before the commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday. He said that Eskom’s most vulnerable period was between March and December 2015, when a change in leadership enabled third parties affiliated to the Guptas to run amok, pillaging the power utility’s finances along the way.
Mabuza unpacks Eskom capture
27 February 2019
Former chief executive of Glencore, Clinton Ephron, has told the commission of inquiry into state capture how a struggling Optimum coal mine was at Eskom’s mercy for years while negotiating for an amendment to their coal supply agreement.
Struggling Optimum helped to its doom by Eskom
28 February 2019
When former sports and recreation minister Fikile Mbalula was informed of his imminent promotion by members of the Gupta family. He reported this at a meeting of the ANC’s national executive committee but to members’ consternation, former president Jacob Zuma did not address the issue on the day, or on any other occasion after that.
Mbalula’s 2011 Gupta disclosure swept under the carpet
1 March 2019
Eskom head of treasury Andre Pillay testified that a R25-billion loan facility signed in 2017 by then interim CEO Sean Maritz was a grossly flawed process that exposed interference from then board chairperson Zethembe Khoza and former public enterprises minister Lynn Brown.
Eskom pressed to sign up for dodgy R25bn loan agreement
4 March 2019
For the R25-billion loan deal between Eskom and Chinese firm Huarong to proceed, all repayments from the power utility would have to be paid into the account of an entity called Ideva. This put officials in Eskom’s treasury unit in an awkward situation, and prompted senior manager for funding execution Sincedile Shweni to demand that Ideva submit financial statements, through which he could assess its legitimacy.
Executives bypassed regulations to push through Eskom-Huarong deal
5 March 2019
The controversial advance payment of R659-million that Eskom made to Tegeta Exploration in April 2016 came under the spotlight at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Tuesday. The commission heard how procurement controls were breached in order to process the payment on an unusually tight deadline.
Multi-million-rand Tegeta payment rushed through irregularly
11 March 2019
Another manager in Eskom’s primary energy division has testified to the irregular processes that senior executives at the power utility used to impose penalties on Optimum mine while that it was owned by Glencore Minerals and during the lead up to its acquisition by Tegeta Exploration.
Eskom execs helped Tegeta bully Glencore into selling Optimum
The commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Monday how Eskom lied to National Treasury about Majuba power station receiving coal from Brakfontein Extension, a part of the Brakfontein mine with which the power utility concluded a coal supply agreement in March 2015.
Power station forced to accept sub-standard coal from Gupta company
12 March 2019
A dismissive Brian Molefe, new in the position of CEO in 2015, wanted to hear nothing of a proposed price hike by Eskom to Optimum, on the basis that the mine had for some time been supplying coal at a higher cost than what they were getting from Eskom for it.
Eskom execs refused to listen to reason in Optimum case
Standard Bank’s Ian Sinton has revealed how his team had to investigate a trail of transactions over the course of 2014 that the bank deemed suspicious, stemming from Transnet as the original source. Over R200-milliion was moved around in this way, before Standard Bank took action.
Standard Bank probed suspicious transactions between Transnet and contractors
13 March 2019
Tom Moyane’s lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu, submitted Moyane’s argument to be permitted to cross-examination, over allegations Pravin Gordhan made against him during his testimony before the commission in November last year.
Arguments for and against Moyane’s application to cross-examine Gordhan
14 March 2019
The commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Wednesday that former Gupta company Oakbay Investments may have lied about being good for the money to buy Glencore-owned Optimum mine in early 2016.
Dodgy machinations behind Eskom’s insistence of Optimum sale to Oakbay
Former mineral resources director-general, Thibedi Ramontja, told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Thursday that all issues relating to Optimum mine became centralised in the office of former minister Mosebenzi Zwane when he arrived at the department in late 2015.
Zwane took over Optimum Mine-related issues on appointment as minister
15 March 2019
Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas has refuted claims by Duduzane Zuma that the only reason the latter drove him to the Gupta family home in Saxonwold on 23 October 2015 was to help settle a spat between Jonas and Duduzane’s long-time friend Fana Hlongwane.
Jonas sticks to his story under cross-examination
18 March 2019
Former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown brought changes to the Denel board in mid-2015 that contributed to its financial freefall and did not speak to the needs of the arms company at that time.
Denel board appointed without following proper processes
20 March 2019
The board of directors appointed at state-owned arms company Denel in 2015 did not only embark on a deal with VR Laser without sufficiently researching market appetite for this new entity, but a consequence of the deal is that Denel lost a lot of money in the process, while VR Laser was the main beneficiary.
Lynne Brown a major player in Denel’s ill-advised moves
The takeover of VR Laser, the company allegedly used by the Gupta family to advance a venture with Denel and establish the controversial Denel Asia, was detailed by its former shareholder and COO Madoda Benny Jiyane at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Tuesday, 19 March.
VR Laser’s Jiyane swiftly and sneakily forced out by Gupta cronies
21 March 2019
The only reason former Denel head Riaz Saloojee lost his job in 2016 was because he was a stumbling block to all Gupta attempts to do irregular business with the state-owned arms manufacturer.
Denel Asia nothing but a money-making scheme for Guptas
22 March 2019
Fikile Mbalula confirmed on Friday that he told an ANC national executive committee meeting in 2011 of his anger and irritation at finding out from by Ajay Gupta of his impending promotion from deputy minister of police to minister of sports and recreation the previous year.
Mbalula was concerned about the Guptas’ growing influence and power
26 March 2019
Former Bosasa auditor Peet Venter told the Zondo commission that he was threatened by former Bosasa COO turned whistle-blower Angelo Agrizzi to get him to participate in Agrizzi’s plan to expose Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.
Agrizzi, Van Tonder plotted to expose Gavin Watson and take Bosasa down
27 March 2019
On his second day of testimony at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, former Bosasa auditor Peet Venter told the commission that the firm’s CEO Gavin Watson asked him numerous times to do illegal things.
Bosasa CEO Watson made others do his dirty work
1 April 2019
The 2009 Special Investigating Unit report on facilities management company Bosasa was compromised by a court interdict in the early stages of the probe in 2007 that prohibited investigators from interviewing material witnesses.
SIU’s Bosasa investigation hamstrung from start
3 April 2019
Advocate Marijke de Kock, senior prosecutor with the National Prosecuting Authority, told the commission of inquiry on state capture on Tuesday that the documents relating to Bosasa’s fraud and corruption case, submitted by the company’s former COO Angelo Agrizzi to the commission, were authentic NPA records leaked during her investigation several years ago.
More light shed on NPA papers leaked to Bosasa
5 April 2019
Former Free State MEC for economic development Mxolisi Dukwana told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday how he was set up by his boss Ace Magashule in 2011 to meet with Rajesh Gupta, who demanded a partnership in a major innovation project under his department.
Former Free State MEC tells of Magashule’s relationship with Guptas
8 April 2019
The chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo on Monday slammed his legal team for its failure to adhere to the commission’s rules regarding notices given to people implicated by witnesses who testify before the commission.
Chairperson displeased with second McBride postponement
11 April 2019
The crime intelligence component of South Africa’s law enforcement network was primarily used to frustrate the work of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) for years, the commission of inquiry into state capture heard from former Ipid head Robert McBride on Thursday.
McBride tells of systematic weakening of Ipid under state capture
The bulk of former Independent Police Investigating Directorate head Robert McBride’s testimony on Thursday focused on the illegal renditions case over which his office presided, that involved former Hawks head Anwar Dramat and his then Gauteng provincial counterpart, General Shadrack Sibiya.
Ipid’s independence compromised by ministerial interference
12 April 2019
Former police minister Nathi Nhleko acted incorrectly in suspending former Hawks head Anwar Dramat and his Ipid counterpart Robert McBride in 2014 and 2015 respectively, as he sought to pursue the agenda of rendering the two institutions dysfunctional.
Nhleko worked hard to destabilise Ipid, McBride reveals
15 April 2019
A notion that Robert McBride and former Hawks head Anwa Dramat know each other personally and are from the same background may have been the motivation behind the political smear campaign accusing McBride of trying to protect a guilty Dramat in the alleged 2010 illegal renditions case over which he was suspended in 2014 and later resigned.
Campaign against McBride, Dramat politically motivated
Robert McBride, former head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), and two of his executives were exonerated in 2015 following what he calls a politically charged campaign to get rid of him. This, he said, was for the corruption he exposed in the South African Police Service over his five-year Ipid term.
Determined efforts to get rid of McBride, Dramat
Former Ipid head McBride told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday that his successor, Israel Kgamanyane, who was appointed in an acting capacity, lied to Parliament when he reported that the performance of the agency had improved while McBride was suspended.
Mdluli, Zuma investigations the reason for dismissals of Dramat and Sibiya
16 April 2019
The South African Police Service (Saps) runs on a system of patronage – “I do favours for my seniors, I get promoted” – which has a serious consequence for South Africa’s fight against corruption, unless it is curbed, said former Ipid head Robert McBride on Tuesday.
Saps used dirty tricks to go after Ipid, O’Sullivan and Trent
17 April 2019
Before the first whistle of the iconic 2010 Fifa World Cup had gone off, controversial KwaZulu-Natal businessman Thoshan Panday had started making himself lots of money by supplying the provincial police office with services for which invoices were grossly inflated, with the help of senior officials.
Hawks investigation into KZN businessman Panday ruffled feathers
A mutual friend of former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen and Edward Zuma attempted to get the latter’s father, former president Jacob Zuma, to intervene during a tense period when Booysen was investigating an apparent business associate of Edward’s, Thoshan Panday, in 2010. Booysen began testifying before the commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday.
Panday called in Zuma assistance when the trap tightened
Detailing what sounded like the plot in a Hollywood detective movie, former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday of events that occurred between 2010 and 2011 while he investigated the alleged corruption between Durban businessman Thoshan Panday and senior officials in the province’s police headquarters.
KZN police commissioner protected controversial businessman Panday
18 April 2019
Despite all efforts of the KwaZulu-Natal Hawks to bring Durban businessman Thoshan Panday and Navin Madhoe, his accomplice in the provincial South African Police Service (Saps), to book after a lengthy investigation of corruption, charges against them for the attempt to bribe Johan Booysen were withdrawn.
Corrupt accused pulled out all the stops to avoid prosecution
26 April 2019
Advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, who were both implicated in Bosasa’s bribery scheme, have been sent packing from the National Prosecuting Authority by President Cyril Ramaphosa, on the recommendation of retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, who oversaw a commission of inquiry that sought to determine the pair’s fitness for office.
Ramaphosa fires Jiba, Mrwebi
The Zondo Commission is on a break at the moment and will resume on 2 May 2019.
2 May 2019
Not long after he fingered Durban businessman Thoshan Panday for attempting to bribe him in 2011 to evade prosecution, former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen was himself facing prosecution and fighting to keep his job.
Booysen describes determined efforts to work him out of KZN Hawks
3 May 2019
Former KZN Hawks head Johan Booysen told the Zondo Commission that in mid-August 2015 he too was invited to the Johannesburg home of the Gupta family, by Duduzane Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma.
Booysen was also invited to the Gupta family home
Johan Booysen told the Zondo Commission that former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli enjoyed the protection of not only former national police commissioner Riah Phiyega and police minister Nathi Mthethwa, but also senior prosecutors within the National Prosecuting Authority, who stopped at nothing to get rid of his enemies.
Booysen details Saps’ dodgy manoeuvres to get rid of him
Richard Mdluli was the Achilles Heel for politicians and senior law enforcement officials alike, because of the protection he required from prosecution for his alleged crimes while he headed up the South African Police Service’s crime intelligence unit.
Mdluli was protected by Phiyega, Mthethwa, and NPA prosecutors
7 May 2019
Brian Molefe spearheaded Transnet’s capture from the time he was appointed in 2011, but it was former public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba who enabled it by appointing the directors that he did, when he came into the portfolio in late 2010.
Brian Molefe, Malusi Gigaba drove Transnet capture
9 May 2019
One of the reasons for state-owned freight and rail entity Transnet’s vulnerability to capture was that although it had an extensive governance structure on paper, it applied only to tenders under a certain value, and on many occasions, contracts were signed off without the stipulated processes of evaluation being followed.
Transnet group procurement processes were opaque and inconsistent
10 May 2019
An unbundling of a R619m payment by Brian Molefe into four separate payments meant that although the full value of the funds went to McKinsey, the payments avoided scrutiny because board approval was not required.
Molefe did not have to get board approval for unbundled payments
15 May 2019
The biggest winner out of Transnet’s multi-billion-rand locomotives contract in 2014 was Gupta-linked consultancy firm Regiments, which had not even been part of the original bid for the contract, but was slipped in through the back door with the help of Brian Molefe and Anoj Singh.
Cost of Transnet locomotive deal inexplicably increased by billions
16 May 2019
The projected cost of Transnet’s locomotive procurement project – which was approved by the parastatal’s board on the back of a memorandum by then group CEO Brian Molefe – stood at R54-billion, via a confinement that did not follow supply chain processes.
Transnet paid agency millions for work it could have done in-house
The commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Thursday how in May 2016 consultancy firm Regiments ceded its contractual obligations for Transnet’s multi-billion-rand locomotives contract to Trillian Capital Partners, with the help of a confinement process facilitated by former group CEO Siyabonga Gama.
Trillian paid R82m for work it did not do
17 May 2019
A business proposal presented to the Transnet board in January 2014 to request a confinement to China South Rail (CSR) in the procurement of 100 electric and diesel locomotives for use on the company’s coal line between Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal was grossly flawed, and should never have been approved.
Flawed proposal for locomotives approved despite engineer’s questions
20 May 2019
Transnet’s alleged irregular management of its R54-billion locomotives contract in 2014 did not end at the bias displayed in the manufacturer contracts, or the inflated costs of supplier services, obtained from a monopoly of Gupta-related companies, but also extended to the delivery programme for the 1 064 locomotives being procured.
Accelerated locomotive delivery plan a financial burden for Transnet
23 May 2019
A shelf company that made over R70-million for the supposed relocation of manufacturing operations in the implementation phase of Transnet’s 1 064 locomotives project was at the centre of the proceedings at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Thursday.
Company that scored millions from Transnet probably not genuine
24 May 2019
Transnet’s tender dispute regulations came under scrutiny at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday during the testimony of Sharla Chetty (nee Pillay), the chief information officer of Transnet Port Terminals – particularly in relation to her award of a multimillion-rand network services tender to Neotel in October 2013, during the absence of group CEO Brian Molefe, in whose position Chetty was acting at the time.
Transnet’s tender dispute regulations under discussion
27 May 2019
An offer to Transnet from IT company T-Systems of a R248-million discount in pursuit of the parastatal’s network services tender in late 2013, actually came from government – according to Gerhard van der Westhuizen, who worked in the procurement division of Transnet until 2014.
Molefe deliberately flouted Transnet procurement policy
28 May 2019
An ongoing investigation by Mncedisi Ndlovu and Sedumedi Attorneys (MNS) has found that China South Rail (CSR), the Chinese company that won a R2.6-billion Transnet tender for 95 locomotives enjoyed preferential treatment from executives at the state-owned entity – so much so that Transnet’s own procurement rules were bent to suit CSR, when it failed to qualify in the very first round of the tender evaluation process.
Transnet favoured CSR by changing its own rules
Former public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba allegedly played the role of enabler in Transnet’s contravention of government’s preferential procurement law in the state-owned entity’s R54-billion locomotives project, first entered into in 2012.
Gigaba encouraged Transnet to flout Treasury conditions
China South Rail’s second contract with Transnet, for 100 locomotives, saw CSR calling the shots after being approved on an allegedly flawed confinement basis, a high-level investigation into Transnet has found.
Transnet allowed CSR to dictate terms and defy contract conditions
3 June 2019
Former ANN7 editor Rajesh Sundaram described his role in helping to set up in 2013 what he called a television station for the “mafia” who just wanted to spew out propaganda to South Africans, as the biggest regret of his career. Sundaram started testifying at the Zondo Commission today.
ANN7 train wreck run by Number 9
Recruited in India in 2013, Rajesh Sundaram was never even interviewed as is the requirement for visa applicants, and his application was largely expedited through Gupta associate Ashu Chawla, who had influence with the office of then president Jacob Zuma. Sundaram had his visa within a day of submitting the relevant documentation.
Visa laws flouted in favour of Gupta employee
5 June 2019
In determining the best choice of loans to fund the multi-billion-rand locomotives procurement project that was concluded in 2014, Transnet executives may have opted to use the concept of interest rate swaps strategically to the benefit of their loan fixers, among them Regiments.
Only loan fixers and banks benefited from Transnet’s interest rate swaps
6 June 2019
The latest former Transnet executive to testify before the commission of inquiry into state capture – Mathane Makgatho, who headed up the treasury unit – has laid bare the deliberate side-lining of her department during the locomotives procurement process, by then group CFO Anoj Singh.
Singh brushed aside concerns with Regiments’ role in Transnet procurement
Former Transnet group treasurer Mathane Makgatho has told the commission of inquiry into state capture that she often butted heads with her former boss, Anoj Singh, on matters pertaining to project funding within the parastatal. In the lead-up to the acquisition of 1 054 locomotives in 2014 in particular, she would begin to see a pattern forming of the former group CFO deliberately undermining her role.
Singh defended Regiments’ intrusion on Transnet procurement processes
7 June 2019
In concluding her testimony before the commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday, former Transnet group treasurer Mathane Makgatho described a toxic environment that was so bad for her security and her health, it led to her resignation at the end of November 2014, just 20 months into the position.
Toxic Transnet environment drove people away
10 June 2019
Former Transnet chief information officer Makano Mosidi testified before the commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday that a memorandum signed by her, recommending that the parastatal award a data services contract to IT company T-Systems, was signed under duress, and while recommendations she had made had not been followed.
T-Systems awarded Transnet tender against CIO’s recommendation
A Transnet board meeting in January 2017 that was to rubber-stamp a tender process for a data services contract ended up becoming an attack of the parastatal’s systems by former director Stanley Shane.
Transnet’s Gijima/T-Systems data services tender debacle
The commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday heard how Siyabonga Gama cautioned a compromised former chief information officer of Transnet, Makano Mosidi, of the dangers of procurement, where one could endanger their life if not careful.
Transnet’s Siyabonga Gama to CIO: Procurement is a dangerous game
11 June 2019
The commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Tuesday how executives of telecommunications provider Neotel failed to dupe auditors Deloitte in 2015 when the latter picked up irregular payments to Gupta-linked company Homix, in relation to a R1.8-billion Transnet contract awarded to Neotel.
The dodgy dealings of Neotel and Transnet (with a little help from Homix)
12 June 2019
Former National Prosecuting Authority head Mxolisi Nxasana has told the commission of inquiry into state capture that he did not have to undergo an interview ahead of his appointment to the position in 2013. Nxasana is the first witness to have been called on the directive of chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
No interview required for Nxasana appointment
While on the face of it he was warmly welcomed to the position of national director of public prosecutions in October 2013, Mxolisi Nxasana has told the commission of inquiry into state capture that his predecessor, Advocate Nomgqobo Jiba, was waging an active campaign to have him removed.
NPA officials, including Jiba, manoeuvred to get rid of Nxasana
14 June 2019
What started out as a quest for South African Airways to secure a debt consolidation loan in 2015 became a case of gross flouting of its procurement processes, largely at the hands of its board. This has been the evidence of the financially unstable airline’s former treasurer, Cynthia Stimpel, whose objection to a board-proposed move to get the funding from the Free State Development Corporation led to her suspension in late 2016.
SAA board interfered in procurement processes
18 June 2019
Former SAA chief financial officer Phumeza Nhantsi says her initiation into the state-owned entity involved engaging formal processes in reverse, at the behest of a board that flouted procurement prescripts. Nhantsi told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Tuesday that she was used as a vehicle by other people to enrich themselves.
“Throughout this process, I did things in reverse”, former SAA CFO admits
19 June 2019
The former CFO of South African Airways, Phumeza Nhantsi, has told the commission of inquiry into state capture that she endured severe pressure from the airline’s then chairperson Dudu Myeni on the one hand and Masotsha Mngadi of BNP Capital on the other to sign off on an irregular cancellation fee for the company in 2016.
SAA’s former CFO feared for her job and life when dealing with Dudu Myeni
20 June 2019
The focus of the inquiry on Wednesday was a contract for handling services on behalf of SA Express at Mahikeng and Pilanesberg airports. Senior provincial and national politicians have been named at the commission of inquiry into state capture as alleged beneficiaries of an elaborate scheme to move money from the local carrier to the ruling party’s coffers.
SA Express money allegedly financed ANC political activities
24 June 2019
The commission of inquiry into state capture has been urged to consider recommending stricter regulation of
businesses involved in the regular movement of money to avoid loopholes used by money launderers and fraudsters.
Evidence leader says commission should seek stricter controls of cash industry
25 June 2019
A company contracted by South African Airways (SAA) in 2016 to provide fuel to some to some of its major route stations has failed to live up to its obligations to the national airline – despite being roped into SAA’s quest to achieve transformation by securing a portion of its fuel business for a black-owned entity.
SAA contractor’s role expanded without following procurement process
26 June 2019
Former South African Airways CEO Sizakele Mzimela told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday that former minister of public enterprises Malusi Gigaba’s tenure saw a breakdown of governance within the national airline.
Gigaba allowed SAA governance and communication to deteriorate
Of all the issues that former public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba preoccupied himself with at crisis-riddled
South African Airways a mere three months in office, the proposed closure of a route between Johannesburg and Mumbai, India was uppermost on his priority list. The proposal had come from a competitor on the route, India-based Jet Airways.
Decision on Mumbai route change seemingly made without SAA CEO’s knowledge
28 June 2019
Former Inline director Brandon King informed the commission by affidavit, to clarify a point in BNP director Daniel Mahlangu’s statement, that sole facilitator Masotsha Mngadi had asked BNP to use King’s details in the documentation, instead of Mngadi’s, to conceal his part in the process.
BNP facilitator’s conflict of interest concealed in SAA tender bid
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