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Reserve Bank: In 4 years, police made little headway on 64 reported cases

Jun 10 2019 18:58
Sibongile Khumalo

Some 64 separate cases involving possible exchange control contraventions have been reported by the Reserve Bank to police since 2015, but there has not been much progress, the commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Monday. 

"We have a challenge with the police in this regard, in term of pursing these cases. I don’t know whether it’s because of the resources at their disposal," said Shiwa Mazibuko, the head of the financial surveillance department at the central bank, in testimony on Monday. 

The commission has been investigating allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud since August 2018.

Mazibuko also testified about the money trail flowing in and out of bank accounts held by companies associated to the controversial Gupta family. He was testifying the same day that SA media reported that family is planning two multi-million rand weddings at an exclusive ski resort in India.  

Mazibuko testified on Monday that the bank is looking into payments relating to a certain 'Mr Govender', who was listed as a sole director of three companies that received money from a Gupta-linked firm, Homix.

Previous evidence before the inquiry revealed that Homix is a shell company nominated by Gupta business associate Salim Essa to receive facilitation fees from contracts to Transnet by various other companies, as Fin24 previously reported.

'These are not clean companies'

Govender, the sole director of Viper, FGC Commodities and Morning Star was also part of a previous probe by the Hawks.

“You can see that these are not clean companies,” said Mazibuko.

Judge Raymond Zondo, the chair of the commission, wanted to understand what had kept the police from informing the Reserve Bank of the progress of the investigation.

He said the issue was particularly concerning as there was a belief that law enforcement agencies were also used in the state capture process.

"We did write to the previous head of NPA but we never got any response," Mazibuko responded, adding he hoped the police would be encouraged to take the cases further, now that they were routinely required to report to Parliament.

Zondo said that part of his job was to establish a task team to assess how Parliament's oversight structures dealt with issues of state capture, and whether there were elements of state capture within portfolio committees.

The inquiry is continuing.

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