16 January 2018

South Africa: Outa Praises New ANC Leadership for Change in Attitude On Corruption

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has praised the new ANC leadership for changing the party's attitude towards tackling corruption.

The organisation was reacting to action against Gupta-associated businesses by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU).

Outa chief operating officer Ben Theron said in a statement that the organisation was pleased with the action taken by AFU against perpetrators implicated in a number of cases and charges laid by civil society and labour organisations.

"There is no doubt that where there is smoke, there is fire. The current media activity appears to indicate that positive action is happening within certain elements of the prosecuting mechanisms within the state," Theron said.

A preservation order is expected to be served on Trillian and McKinsey on Tuesday for assets worth around R1.6bn, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed to News24 on Monday.

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said the order relates to consultancy work done by the companies for Eskom and Transnet.

The preservation order was obtained on December 14 last year, and once it is served, a curator will ensure that the companies' accounts are frozen and the assets are preserved.

More anti-corruption action expected

"They have 90 days to indicate whether they are defending the matter. If they do, the onus is on them to satisfy the court that they acquired [the assets] through lawful means," Mfaku explained.

Theron said this action sends a strong signal of a new guard and a change of attitude when it comes to tackling corruption - now that President Jacob Zuma is no longer at the helm of the ruling party.

Outa, together with the South African Federation of Trade Unions and the Helen Suzman Foundation, gathered evidence, building cases that will assist the authorities to advance a number of cases related to state capture, Theron said.

"For now, the initial activity by the AFU appears to target a few corporate entities linked to the Eskom McKinsey/Trillian contract. However, in the near future, we sincerely believe that other cases and charges that include the Gupta brothers, along with a host of senior government officials and other companies will begin to unfold."

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as Zuma's successor at the party's national conference in December 2017.

Source: News24

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