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From mild to wild: Everything you need to know about part 4 of state capture report

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The fourth volume of the state capture report which was released on Friday addressed the capture of Eskom and the attempted capture of the National Treasury.

It also included findings on dodgy dealings between business technology solutions company EOH and the City of Johannesburg, the closure of Gupta bank accounts, the Free State Asbestos project, and the R1 billion housing project.

Zuma features prominently

Zondo also slammed former President Jacob Zuma’s conduct for facilitating the Gupta family’s hijacking of the country’s resources.

“There are no words to describe this conduct on President Zuma’s part… Was this the same man that stood twice in front of the people of South Africa and took an oath and said:

‘I Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, swear/solemnly affirm that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa… I solemnly and sincerely promise that I will always promote all that will advance the Republic and oppose all that may harm it.’

“Yes, this was the same man.”

State capture report, Vol 4

Table of contents

  • ANC should be ‘ashamed of themselves’
  • ESKOM: Zuma allowed Guptas to use him to capture Eskom
  • ESKOM: Eskom’s 2014 board responsible for utility’s downfall
  • ESKOM: R659m Tegeta deal: Gupta left out of recommendation
  • NATIONAL TREASURY: Zuma determined to give Guptas access
  • ASBESTOS: Govt officials to face charges but not Magashule?
  • FS HOUSING: ANC slammed for not holding Magashule to account
  • REACTION: Eskom ready to take action
  • REACTION: Outa to NPA: No more excuses, start prosecuting
  • REACTION: State capture report ‘an indictment on Ramaphosa 

Reporting by Cheryl Kahla, Narissa Subramoney, and Gareth Cotterell

ANC should be ‘ashamed of themselves’

Chief Justice Zondo said the governing party “should be ashamed of themselves” for what they had allowed to happen under their watch.

The report questions the ANC’s role in state capture as both President Ramaphosa and Gwede Mantashe said the party had a say on who is appointed to state-owned entities’ boards.

Moreover, at the time many of the transgressions took place, Ramaphosa was former President Jacob Zuma’s deputy president.

The Capture of Eskom

Zuma’s ‘character’ allowed Guptas to use him

The Gupta brothers used Jacob Zuma for their state capture plans, because they realised that his character would allow him to act “against the people of South Africa”.

South Africans thought that the ANC government was in control of Eskom but it was not. It had relinquished the control to the Guptas and those people the Guptas wanted – Zondo

This is one of the highly controversial findings in the fourth part of the highly anticipated report by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.

In part four of the report, Zondo said the controversial Gupta family, who since fled to Dubai, knew former President Jacob Zuma was instrumental in their capture of Eskom.

Eskom’s 2014 board responsible for power utility’s downfall

Zondo said Eskom’s 2014 board “failed to exercise their fiduciary duties and prevent financial prejudice to Eskom, and instead allowed irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure to persist.

The board acted in their own interest and Zondo highlighted the parts played by Anoj Singh, Brian Molefe, and Matshela Koko, among others.

He said Eskom should consider legal action to “recover from members of the 2014 board (and the former Eskom officials referred to in Vol VI) all losses that Eskom suffered as a result of their unlawful conduct.”

R659m Tegeta deal: Tony Gupta left out of recommendation

The fourth volume of the State Capture report addresses the irregular supply of coal to Eskom from Tegeta’s Brakfontein Colliery, which cost the power utility some R659 million in 2016.

The power utility’s penchant for corrupt contracts – such as the Tegeta deal – is primarily the reason why South Africa constantly battles stockpile shortages.

While Zondo recommends the NPA institute criminal charges against Rajesh Tony Gupta for attempting to bribe former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas, Gupta is conspicuously left out of the Tegeta deal recommendations.

Capture of the National Treasury

Chief Justice Zondo said Zuma “must have been determined to give Gupta’s direct access to the nation’s Treasury to hand the control to the Guptas before he left office”.

“Was this the same man [who] stood twice in front of the people of South Africa and took an oath […] to ‘sincerely promise to oppose all that may [South Africa]’. Yes, this was the same man.”

Zuma was determined to give Guptas access to Treasury

South Africans owe former finance ministers Pravin Gordhan, Nhlanhla Nene and certain officials from National Treasury a debt of gratitude, for diligently guarding the country’s purse from Gupta influences.

The fourth instalment of the State Capture report, which was released on Friday morning, found that former president Jacob Zuma was “determined” to give the Gupta family unfettered access to the country’s coffers.

Asbestos debacle

Zondo wants Sodi, govt officials to face charges but Magashule not mentioned

The Zondo commission has recommended that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) lay criminal charges against businessman Edwin Sodi, one of the central figures in the R255 million Free State asbestos scandal.

In 2015, the Free State human settlements department had awarded the asbestos audit contract to Sodi’s company, Blackhead Consulting, and Diamond Hill Trading, which was owned by Ignatius “Igo” Mpambani.

Mpambani was shot dead in Sandton in April 2018.

EDITORIAL: Another damning state capture report against Zuma

Free State housing debacle

Zondo slams ANC for not holding Zwane and Magashule to account

In the fourth part of his state capture report, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said the Free State’s handling of its housing project was a “dismal failure”.

Zondo was referring to the Free State department of housing’s project to build thousands of low-cost (RDP) houses. R1.3 billion was set aside for this project, yet most of the houses were never built.

The state capture inquiry heard how the Free State’s head of department for housing, Mpho ‘Gift’ Mokoena, and former housing MEC, Mosebenzi Zwane, were responsible for the province giving more than R500 million to contractors before any building of houses had started.

Reaction to state capture report

Eskom ready to take action

Eskom is studying the fourth instalment of the Commission of Enquiry into Allegations of State Capture’s report, to identify whether there are implicated individuals still employed at the parastatal and ‘will take appropriate action as required in line with its policies’.

There are numerous criminal cases registered with the South African Police Service over the years and disciplinary action taken against its employees implicated in the irregularities.

“Eskom has proactively set up a project team, supported by its internal and external lawyers, to ensure that the report is reviewed, understood and appropriate actions are taken to address recommendations made therein and to protect Eskom’s interests,” said the power utility in a statement.

Outa to NPA: No more excuses, prosecute those implicated

The Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has called for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to stop making excuses and start prosecuting those implicated in State Capture.

Reacting to the explosive findings against prominent members of the ANC– specifically, former President Jacob Zuma – Outa called on the NPA to criminally charge the state capture culprits, recover the looted funds and get rid of those still in powerful positions. 

“This is another report making it clear who is culpable, starting from Jacob Zuma,” it said in a statement.

DA: State capture report ‘a serious indictment on Ramaphosa 

The DA says the fourth part of the state capture commission’s report is a serious indictment on President Cyril Ramaphosa and members of his Cabinet, for “supposedly turning a blind eye” while the country was being robbed blind by the Guptas, with former president Jacob Zuma as the “mafia boss”.

The official opposition party said Ramaphosa – who was Zuma’s deputy from 2014 to 2018 – as well as Cabinet ministers’ often repeated claim that they did not know what was happening during state capture is dishonest.

The Presidency on Friday released the fourth instalment of the state capture commission’s report, which dealt with Eskom, National Treasury, and EOH Holdings.

EDITORIAL: SA’s corruption crisis: The face of graft is in every corner