DA lays charges against deputy finance minister

2017-06-09 18:28
Sfiso Buthelezi (File)

Sfiso Buthelezi (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – There appears to be an attempt to cover up corruption at rail agency Prasa, DA MP Manny de Freitas said on Friday.

He laid charges of corruption against Deputy Finance Minster Sfiso Buthelezi, for allegedly having benefited from tenders awarded to Prasa, at the Cape Town Central police station in Buitenkant Street.

De Freitas said he was concerned about what he said appeared to be a cover-up, as Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi seemingly wanted to suspend the Prasa board.

He said the board was working hard to investigate alleged corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), which had been laid out in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report, entitled Derailed, released in August 2015.

On Monday, News24 reported that Buthelezi and his brother had interests in companies that secured contracts worth at least R150m from Prasa and its suppliers. Buthelezi was board chairperson of the troubled state-owned rail operator at the time.

Buthelezi denies allegations

Swifambo Rail Leasing, the supplier of Prasa’s controversial Afro 4000 locomotives, appointed Inala Shipping – a company 100% owned by the deputy minister’s brother Nkanyiso Buthelezi – to manage the shipping and logistics for the importing of the trains.

Inala then appointed Sebenza Forwarding and Shipping, a company in which Sfiso Buthelezi is an ultimate beneficiary, to handle the customs clearing portion of importing the Spanish-built locomotives in 2014 and 2015.

Buthelezi said he had noted this report "with utter dismay and deep disappointment". He denied any wrongdoing and said he had never used his position as chairperson of the Prasa board to influence procurement decisions in favour of any company associated with him or his family.

De Freitas said there appeared to be a clear case of corruption implicating Buthelezi. He laid the criminal charges in terms of the Prevention of Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

"In terms of the act, Buthelezi could be guilty of the general offence of corruption, an offence in respect of contracts, an offence in respect of tenders and an offence relating to private interests in public contracts," he said in a statement.

Call for probe into state capture

The DA had written to Parliament's transport committee chairperson, Dikeledi Magadzi, to ask her to call the Hawks to provide an update on its investigation into Prasa. 

"It is shocking how many criminal investigations are yet to be completed, and the Hawks are long overdue in updating Parliament," De Freitas said.

DA MP and spokesperson Phumzile van Damme, who accompanied De Freitas, said they had asked the station commander for an update on the charges laid against President Jacob Zuma, the Gupta brothers, and others. DA leader Mmusi Maimane laid these last week, in the wake of the revelations contained in the leaked Gupta emails.

The party proposed that a parliamentary ad hoc committee be established to investigate state capture. Van Damme said this suggestion appeared to enjoy broad support from other political parties. The proposal had been referred to Parliament's programming committee.

Meanwhile, the EFF was on Friday laying charges of corruption against Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. 


Read more on:    da  |  prasa  |  sfiso buthelezi  |  mmusi maimane  |  cape town  |  state capture  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

French Bulldog helps kids with facial differences

Lentil Bean is a french bulldog who was born with a severe cleft nose, lip and palate.

 
 

Paws

Weird things dogs do
Makeover saves dog’s life
For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.