PRETORIA – Corruption Watch on Tuesday welcomed the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit taking action against the politically connected Gupta brothers after an order was obtained to freeze Trillian and McKinsey assets worth about R1.6-billion.
“This must naturally be followed by the commencement of criminal proceedings against these two firms [Gupta-linked companies Trillian and McKinsey] as well as against the individual McKinsey, Trillian and Eskom executives and board members implicated in the wholesale looting of public resources,” the anti-corruption organisation said in a statement.
David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch said criminal prosecutions should follow.
“While this is a welcome development, it is the tip of the iceberg. Most South Africans could identify several cabinet ministers as well as current and former senior executives and board members of Eskom, Transnet, Prasa, McKinsey, SAP, the SABC, MultiChoice and South China Rail, to name but a few who should be charged criminally. This applies equally to senior executives of Sars,” said Lewis.
He said while the Asset Forfeiture Unit’s action has proved that there are “people of integrity” in the leadership of the criminal justice system, the possibility of “robust and competent criminal proceedings” being launched while the National Prosecuting Authority is led by national director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams was remote.
“Corruption Watch is not confident that robust and competent criminal proceedings will be launched while the National Prosecuting Authority is led by Shaun Abrahams – who has consistently demonstrated that his loyalty lies not with the law but with President Zuma and his cronies. At the end of last year, the High Court, pursuant to an application filed by Corruption Watch, removed Abrahams from office,” said Lewis.
“The court, mindful of the president’s conflict of interest, empowered the deputy president to appoint a new national director of public prosecutions. We urge him to make this appointment without delay.”