It may not be fast enough, but justice is coming
It has been slow in coming, but the arrests and arraignments are starting to happen….
It’s not time to bring out the bubbly, yet, but the cleanup of government, the much derided new dawn that President Cyril Ramaphosa promised, is starting to rise.
Let us first dispense with the silliness that marked Ramaphosa’s reference to a new dawn.
The pronouncement of a new dawn was always going to be pounced on by the expedient bunch of ambulance-chasing politicians (the EFF), and those still hankering for a return to the complacency of white hegemony (a sector of the white community).
These are the folk who remain entranced by the nostalgia of biltong, braaivleis, boerewors, sunny skies and Toyota
Fortuners, sipping on brandy and coke, while reminiscing about Mannetjies Roux.
Never mind them, the arrests of the past week, and the slow, but sure cleanup of state-owned enterprises is under way.
The arrests of the past week, are especially significant.
It evidences that government is committed to cleaning up the state, and that the Zondo Commission (the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State), is effective, and worth the investment.
Among several movements in law enforcement, news came in last week that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) had arrested 10 people in connection with collusion allegations involving Amathole District Municipality funds.
It was also reported that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were ready to prosecute those implicated in the controversial Gupta-linked Estina dairy farm project in the Free State.
The project was intended to see at least 100 black emerging farmers receive five cows each as part of an empowerment scheme.
This scheme was part of a 2013 free 99-year lease by the provincial Department of Agriculture, and turned out to be one of the most controversial transactions between the Gupta family and a government department or agency.
Last Thursday, there were reports that the Hawks arrested the CEO of co-operative governance and traditional affairs’ municipal infrastructure support agent, Goodman Ntandazo Vimba.
Also last week, Sars served an assets forfeiture order on Lucky Montana, Prasa boss.
The move is related to R1.8m in outstanding, and overdue taxes by Montana.
The big news of the week was the arrest of ANC MP Bongani Bongo who was picked up by the Hawks on charges of corruption.
Bongo is accused of trying to disrupt a parliamentary inquiry into state capture at Eskom on October 10, 2017.
Bongo was appointed state security minister by former president Jacob Zuma, but was removed by Ramaphosa swiftly after he became president.
According to reports, Bongo made a brief appearance in the
Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning in connection with allegations of corruption.
His bail was set at R5,000, and one of the bail conditions was that he not make any contact with state witnesses.
He was asked to return on January 31.
“Bongo, who was the minister of state security at the time, allegedly approached an advocate within the commission who was an evidence leader to take sick leave on the day of the commencement of the [inquiry] with a view to derail the proceedings,” Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed in a statement.
There was, also, the announcement last week that the Asset Forfeiture Unit was going after three of the heavy hitters at Regiments Capital.
The trio, Niven Pillay, Litha Nyhonyha and their former partner, Eric Wood have been linked to “tainted deals at Transnet and allegations of kickbacks to a string of Guptalinked front companies”.
They have been ordered to hand over all assets from individual, company and family to a court-appointed curator.
Also, readers may recall that an investigation into a murder in Vosloorus earlier this year, allegedly involving former intelligence boss Richard Mdluli, led crime intelligence to the discovery of the looting of a secret service account.
It was reported that on 30 July, Mdluli and a co-accused, Mthembeni Mthunzi, were found guilty on charges relating to the 1999 kidnapping and assault of Oupa Ramogibe, who was married to Mdluli’s former lover Tshidi Buthelezi.
All of these pointed to Mdluli facing charges of fraud, theft and corruption, for allegedly looting the crime intelligence slush fund.
The charges were later withdrawn in 2011.
Here we are then.
The state capturers and looters are slowly being picked up and face prosecution.
It won’t be long until the law reaches further up the political leadership.
It should come as no surprise that the only people who oppose the Zondo Commission are those who may have something to hide.
Let us ignore the naysayers. There is no doubt that some folk may be buying their besties paper shredders for Christmas.