SIU ready to act on recommendations from State Capture report

Zondo and Ramaphosa
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The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it is ready to act following the recommendations of the fourth State Capture report. The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture handed over the report to the Presidency on Friday.

The report has explosive revelations into state capture. It covers corruption and fraud in the public sector including organs of state.

The report lays bare former president Jacob Zuma’s alleged direct involvement in Eskom’s affairs in a well-orchestrated plan to capture the state-owned power utility.

It indicates that Zuma, the Guptas and their associates were behind the suspension of many Eskom executives holding strategic positions to make way for those who would comply with their demands.

The SIU Spokesperson Kaizer Kanyago, explaining their plan of action, says, “For us, we want to make it very clear … it’s a whole societal approach. We need to get all the stakeholders including civil society to be part of what we do, so that we can strengthen the areas of prevention because when the corruption has already happened, it becomes a difficult exercise to deal with those issues. From our sides, we’ll make sure that the assets are recovered. Where officials decide to resign, we will freeze their pensions and when it’s time to recover, we will do that. We want to make sure that people do not get away with corruption.”

State Capture Report | Prof Dirk Kotze provides analysis

Meanwhile, Eskom’s current management says it has put a team in place to ensure that the findings and the recommendations of the state capture report are implemented.

It says the team of internal and external lawyers is mandated to recover stolen funds, prosecute implicated persons, and take appropriate action against those who are still in Eskom’s employ.

The power utility’s spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha says they welcome the report.

“Eskom has already taken steps to recover funds irregularly paid out by Eskom to various suppliers. Eskom, working closely with the special investigating unit, has been successful in recovering R1.1 billion from Mckinsey, R1.577 billion from ABB. Eskom has furthermore initiated civil actions to recover some of the monies lost to state capture, including R3.8 billion in damages suffered by Eskom due to unlawful actions by those implicated in state capture. Eskom is studying the report to identify whether there are implicated individuals still in its employ and will take appropriate action.”

State Capture Report | Eskom says has team in place to ensure report recommendations implemented

Zondos’s recommendations

Chairperson of the State Capture Inquiry, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has recommended that government seek legal opinion on how to recover over R200 million of public money allegedly wasted on the failed Free State asbestos roof eradication project.

This is amongst the recommendations contained in Part 4 of the State Capture report officially handed over to the Presidency on Friday.

Zondo found that the state did not get value for money from the project awarded to Blackhead Consulting and Diamond Hill Trading.

Businessman Edwin Sodi is fingered as the mastermind behind the failed project which allegedly included the bribing of politicians.

Sodi is already facing charges of fraud and corruption in relation to the project.

Zondo adds that the companies made a misrepresentation to the Department of Human Settlements that it had the qualification, expertise, skills and experience necessary for the performance of the job when it had no such.

It is also against this backdrop, that Zondo further recommends that the NPA also give serious consideration to instituting a charge of corruption against Sodi.

Court case

In March, the High Court in Bloemfontein dismissed applications by suspended African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Ace Magashule and three others to have corruption charges relating to the R255 million asbestos roof contract against them dropped.

Sodi, former Human Settlements Director-General Thabani Zulu and former Free State Human Settlements head Nthimotse Mokhesi argued that charges against them were premised on evidence presented before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry.

Magashule contended that charges against him were politically motivated.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the judgment, saying it has full confidence in the strength of its case and will let the evidence speak for itself during the trial.

The pretrial hearing will start on the 10th of June.