Days before the Reserve Bank must release funds it quietly froze to Chinese rail group CRRC, the taxman goes to court to preserve them and prepares to claim billions from the group based on evidence that it paid kickbacks to the Guptas.
With haste rare in officialdom, the South African Reserve Bank confronted Chinese rail conglomerate CRRC a week after amaBhungane and our #GuptaLeaks partners revealed that CRRC was paying kickbacks to the Gupta crime family.
It was June 2017, and the Bank cut a lonely institution holding out against State Capture. It must have taken some resolve for its officials to target an industrial group controlled by a friendly state and alleged to be in a corrupt relationship with friends of the South African head of state.
In later correspondence with CRRC, the Bank referred to a 7 June 2017 meeting with its representatives, called "to, inter alia, discuss the allegation that 'kickbacks' were paid to Tequesta". The Bank complained that its officials were "not furnished with any plausible explanation of the rationale for the transaction".
In our first #GuptaLeaks story seven days before, we had revealed that CRRC predecessor China South Rail, which won contracts to supply Transnet...