It has been a GOOD week for accountability! South Africans are quick to judge the lack of action by the country’s top cops on the corruption cases that have deeply scarred our country. It’s been a long time, but things ARE changing, albeit slowly and we’re here to deliver the good news side of corruption: accountability.
Here are four, very notable cases that indicate the wheels of justice are slowly turning.
- Iqbal Sharma denied bail
Gupta associate Iqbal Sharma was this week denied bail on charges related to money laundering and fraud. Sharma was arrested last week Wednesday, and in contrast to his Venetian-themed master bedroom of his R12 million home in Morningside, Johannesburg, he is spending his nights in a cold jail cell in Bloemfontein. Shame! The court said Sharma is a flight risk. Sharma has travelled extensively, and according to investigating officer Col Mandla Aloise Mtolo, he has the means to flee. Sharma has residency rights in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where his company Issar Global is based. He has access to offshore assets worth hundreds of millions of rands which were fraudulently transferred to his company together with the Guptas. Last week the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Investigative Directorate seized Gupta assets to the value of R520 million – some of which belonged to Sharma and his wife Tarina Patel. Thanks to Top Billing, we also know that she has scatter cushions embroidered with gold thread, and a closet with Jimmy Choo shoes, expensive clothing and jewelry – all of which could be seized by the state.
- UAE finally extradites Guptas
It’s time to get real. The UAE has signed an extradition agreement against the Guptas which will give South Africa the right and ability to FINALLY bring the infamous family to book after their high-scale looting of South Africa. A few weeks ago we told you that they had stolen approximately R50 billion (and counting) through elaborate transactions through South African companies and more notably state-owned enterprises like Transnet and Eskom. The UAE said its decision to hand the family over was in the interests of promoting judicial and legal cooperation with South Africa. It’s now up to the NPA to continue its crackdown on the infamous family. Speaking of… 👇🏽
- NPA boss is cracking down on slow prosecution
You know how your boss reprimands you for not getting things done on time? Yes, that’s exactly what NPA boss Shamila Batohi has been up to. About two months ago, Batohi wrote a letter to NPA South Gauteng boss Andrew Chauke for his “failure” to prosecute prominent South Africans, including Duduzane Zuma and Richard Mduli and many others who are facing various serious criminal and political charges. To recap, the case against baby Zuma relates to the 2014 accident in Sandton in which one woman was killed and three others were injured. Chauke did not formally charge Zuma, Batohi wrote in her letter, but he was eventually tried for culpable homicide and then acquitted by the court in 2019. Mduli was the crime intelligence boss and a close ally of Zuma. He was charged with murder, attempted murder and intimidation of kidnapping in 2011. Chauke withdrew his charges against Mdluli and a formal inquest was held. Batohi cited at least five other incomplete cases in her letter. Chauke’s slow action could mean he too could lose his job.
- EFF’s Brian Shivambu to pay back the money
The brother of the EFF’s deputy leader Floyd Shivambu has been caught in a net. This week it was reported that Brian, who had for a long time denied the looting of VBS Mutual Bank to funnel money to his brother, has fallen through the cracks. Scorpio revealed that the younger Shivambu did indeed admit to wrongdoing, adding that he had signed an acknowledgement of debt for R4.5 million with Vele Investments (VBS’s main shareholder) and admitting that there was no underlying basis for the payment. Basically, he was paid to do nothing (must be nice).This big revelation has led Brian sign an agreement to pay back R4.5 million (of a larger sum of R20 million), opening the way for more cracks to widen relating to the massive VBS looting saga. The ice is thinning under EFF leader Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu.
Do you see light at the end of this long anti-corruption tunnel? We sure do.