Editorial | Let’s hope Bosasa arrests are for real
After weeks of explosive testimony by former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi before the Zondo Commission, the Hawks on Wednesday made several high-profile arrests for corruption, money laundering and fraud.
Swift action by the Hawks after the recent revelations at the State Capture Commission must be welcomed as it signals an appetite to go after those implicated in corruption – at least we hope so.
It is about time that finally, 10 years after the Special Investigating Unit handed over a report to the NPA in relation to four Bosasa contracts with the department of correctional services, we are seeing movement.
It comes at the right time as South Africans struggle to digest testimony upon testimony of blatant theft and corruption, implicating everyone from government ministers to businessmen and bureaucrats.
While these arrests give us a sense of optimism that finally there may be justice, Hawks investigators must be careful not to be caught up in the fanfare.
It is an election year and the ANC is eager to shed itself of its image as a party harbouring criminals out to loot the coffers of the state – a party that can’t be trusted by the public. With this in mind, we hope that the Hawks are not taking the nation on a ride where the cases amount to nothing – as seen with the Guptas.
About a year ago almost to the day, Hawks crime busters raided the Saxonwold home of the Guptas, arresting three people in connection with the failed Estina dairy farm project in Vrede. This took place shortly after Cyril Ramaphosa took over as ANC president and a week before Jacob Zuma was forced to resign as president of the republic.
Nothing came of it, with the NPA eventually withdrawing the case because it needed more evidence to build a strong case.
We hope this will not be the case with the Bosasa matter, provided that Agrizzi and the other whistleblowers were being truthful and that the evidence against Gavin Watson and others is, indeed, overwhelming...