Trillian blocked probe on Nene removal warning - report | Fin24
  • Another VAT hike?

    Absa warns that govt may again announce an increase in value added tax in next month's Budget.

  • SA Revenue Service

    The tax agency says a unit that tackles illicit financial flows has recovered R2.6bn since April 2019.

  • State Capture Inquiry

    Former Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi says Tony Gupta threatened to have him removed.


Trillian blocked probe on Nene removal warning - report

Jun 30 2017 08:55
Arabile Gumede, Bloomberg

Johannesburg - Trillian Capital, the financial-services company linked to the Guptas, stonewalled an investigation into whether its management had advance warning about Nhlanhla Nene’s firing as finance minister in 2015, according to a report on the probe.

Trillian Capital refused access to electronic devices used by CEO Eric Wood, which could help either support or disprove allegations by a former senior employee that Wood told her Nene would be replaced more than a month before it happened, advocate Geoff Budlender said in the report, which was commissioned by outgoing Trillian chairperson Tokyo Sexwale. Wood has disputed the allegations and denied any wrongdoing.

“The conduct of Trillian management in this inquiry has left me with the impression that what it says cannot be trusted,” Budlender said in the report. “It is not possible to make a definitive finding of fact on the issue.”

The rand plunged and bonds tumbled after President Jacob Zuma replaced Nene with a little-known lawmaker in December 2015 before being pressured into backtracking only days later and hiring Pravin Gordhan, who had served in the role before. Zuma fired Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle announced after midnight on March 31, resulting in downgrades of the country’s credit rating to junk status.

The findings of Budlender’s investigation will be handed over to the nation’s prosecutors, Sexwale told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday. Last month, he called for the country to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry to probe payments allegedly made by state-owned entities to the company and others linked to the Gupta family, who are friends of Zuma and in business with one of his sons.

State assets

Emails leaked to local media, as well as reports by the country’s main church organisation and a team of eight academics place Zuma and the Guptas at the centre of an orchestrated effort to raid state assets.

Eskom, Transnet, weapons company Denel and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) were among the entities that were allegedly targeted.

Budlender’s report showed that Eskom paid Trillian Capital Partners R266.1m in fees last year, negating a December 2 statement by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, who said that Eskom had no contracts with Trillian.

Trillian is linked to the Gupta family through Salim Essa, its principal shareholder. He didn’t answer phone calls seeking comment. Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing. A spokesperson for Wood declined to comment and said he would issue a statement later.

Today is the last day that Sexwale and five directors will serve at Trillian, the chairperson said.

“This corruption of state capture, related to a particular family, is destroying our organisation,” Sexwale said, referring the ruling African National Congress.

State capture is a term used in South Africa to describe undue influence on government by private business interests. “The image of the country, don’t even talk about that abroad.”

Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

trillian  |  nhlanhla nene  |  gupta family  |  state capture


Company Snapshot

Voting Booth

How concerned are you about ransomware attacks?

Previous results · Suggest a vote