Thursday, February 7, 2019

South Africa To Jail All Corrupt Officials

Former South African President Jacob Zuma sits in the dock of the High Court of Pietermaritzburg on 27 July, 2018 for his hearing over 16 corruption charges.He is charged with 16 counts that include fraud corruption and racketeering. These charges relate to 783 payments which he allegedly received as a bribe to protect French arms company Thales from an investigation into the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal facilitated by Zumas' financial adviser Schabir Shaik
South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to jail officials implicated in an ongoing corruption inquiry following the arrest of five people, including a witness at a judicial inquiry into alleged influence peddling. Ramaphosa’s remarks made at a mining investment (Mining Indaba 2019) conference held in Cape Town on Wednesday, this strong stance come after five Western envoys including the United States, United Kingdom and others threatened to cut foreign direct investment in the country if no action was taken against perpetrators of corruption. 


A South African police spokesperson said on Wednesday that Angelo Agrizzi, a former executive of a private company who testified for more than a week on how he bribed politicians and bureaucrats to secure government contracts for his company, was one of five people arrested on charges of corruption and fraud in the awarding of government contracts.

These arrests represent the culminations of many years of investigations.
The five are charged with misappropriating about 1.6 billion rand ($44.5 million). “These arrests represent the culmination of many years of investigations,” said Hangwani Mulaudzi, the spokesman for the Hawks police unit. Agrizzi’s lawyer, Daniel Witz, did not immediately respond to phone calls from Reuters seeking comment. The five appeared in a Pretoria court and were each granted 20,000-rand bail. The case has been postponed to the March 27. Warrants were issued for the arrest of two others. One is overseas and the other is in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, Mulaudzi said. 


The arrests are linked to contracts awarded by the correctional services department to services company Bosasa Operations, now known as African Global Operations. The inquiry where Agrizzi testified during public hearings on claims that corporate interests that include the Gupta brothers — the heads one of the country’s biggest conglomerates — unduly influenced former President Jacob Zuma over political appointments and winning contracts. Zuma and the Guptas denied wrongdoing.

In another separate case, the Black First Land First (BLF) plans to lay criminal charges against President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of his State of the National Address (SONA). The controversial organization said it will lay the charges related to the R500 000 donation Ramaphosa's campaign received from Bosasa ahead of the ANC's elective conference in 2017. The charges will include; the contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, bribery, fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. Ramaphosa has faced public backlash after it was revealed that his campaign had accepted an R500 000 donation from Bosasa, now know as African Global Operations.

The President had first disclosed the story in Parliament, after a question posed from DA leader Mmusi Maimane, that the money Bosasa paid to his son Andile was related to a business transaction.  He later wrote to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete seeking to clarify his answer and said the money had been paid towards his campaign and that he was not aware of this. He said the money would be paid back. Ramaphosa is also facing a probe by the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane who investigating these transactions. The BLF plans to open the case soon in Cape Town.



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