After a day of high political drama in South Africa, new public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was yesterday ordered by a full bench of the Pretoria High Court to release immediately the state-capture report prepared by her predecessor, which the president had sought to interdict.
The report prepared by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was finally released and pressure ratcheted up on Zuma to resign.
Opposition parties, Civil society groups, joined by senior ANC members such as Max Sisulu and Solly Mapaila, gathered outside the High Court, where speaker after speaker said it was time for Zuma to go.
Here is a look at some of Madonsela‘s key findings:
5. Did Zuma involve the Guptas, and his son, in ministerial appointments and removals?
The report found it “worrying that the Gupta family was aware or may have been aware” of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene‘s removal six weeks before it happened. Madonsela also found it worrying that Des van Rooyen, who replaced Nene, could be located seven times in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, where the Guptas reside — including on the day it was announced that he had been appointed finance minister. Madonsela said the frequency was “anomalous” for someone who was based full-time in Cape Town.
4. On Zuma, the cabinet, the Guptas and the banks?
Madonsela discovered that Zuma‘s cabinet took the “extraordinary and unprecedented step” of intervening “in what appears to be a dispute between a private company co-owned by the president‘s friends and his son”.
Madonsela has recommended that the intervention be investigated by the judicial commission of inquiry because it was a “possible conflict of interest between the president, as a head of state, and his private interests as a friend and father” in terms of section 2 of the executive ethics code.
3. On allegations that Zuma turned a blind eye, in breach of the executive ethics code, to allegations of corruption by the Guptas?
There is no evidence showing that Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas‘s allegation that he was offered money and a ministerial post in exchange for favours was ever investigated by the executive.
2. On allegations that Minerals Minister Mosebenzi Zwane travelled to Switzerland to facilitate Gupta mining deals?
The former public protector found Zwane‘s conduct could be “irregular” because his office had booked flights he said he didn‘t take.
This might be in breach of the Public Finance Management Act, the constitution and the Executive Members‘ Ethics Act, the report says.
1. On Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and the Guptas?
Allegations that Molefe had a “cosy” relationship with the Guptas are substantiated by cellphone records.
The report shows that Molefe phoned Ajay Gupta 44 times, and Ajay Gupta called him 14 times, between August last year and March this year.
Between August 5 and November 17 2015, Molefe was placed in Saxonwold on 19 occasions.
“Mr Molefe‘s relationship with the Gupta family, as well as with the directors of Tegeta, cannot be ignored; there was a firm line of communication between Mr Ajay Gupta and Mr Molefe,” the report read.
The report questions Eskom‘s involvement in a deal involving Gupta mining company Tegeta.
The company scored a R2-billion profit from the transaction.
The deal involved Glencor‘s sale of Optimum Coal Mine and its holding company to Tegeta. The probe found that Eskom appeared to have forced Optimum into business rescue — to benefit Tegeta.
Madonsela flagged several irregularities in the Optimum deal.
Eskom also authorised a R660- million coal prepayment to Tegeta at a special board meeting held at 9pm on April 11, hours after the Gupta company informed Glencor they were R600-million short to buy the mine and banks had refused to come up with the cash.
The report found this could violate the PFMA and amount to fraud as the money was not used to fund the mine but to buy the shares of the holding company — contrary to what Tegeta said publicly.
It also found the way R1.45-billion in mining rehabilitation funds was transferred to the Bank of Baroda was irregular.
Madonsela notes that the way the Bank of Baroda was used to buy Optimum Coal Mine for Tegeta might be “money-laundering”.