Hawks to probe Baleka Mbete Gold Fields deal

2013-09-30 09:12

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The Hawks would investigate allegations of corruption and bribery in a Gold Fields empowerment transaction involving ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete.

Major General Hans Meiring, head of the Hawks’ commercial crimes unit, confirmed the investigation in a letter to the Democratic Alliance after the party asked for a probe earlier this month, Beeld reported today.

“You are herewith advised that the content of your letter was read and the information is being reviewed by the directorate of priority crime investigations (Hawks) through an investigation for the purpose of determining whether there are any criminal actions, and, if so, who the perpetrators are,” Meiring’s letter stated.

This follows reports that a New York law firm found that a R25 million share allocation to Mbete allegedly constituted bribery.

Commissioned by Gold Fields, the firm alleged that Mbete’s increased cut in the 2010 deal was in response to a threat by her representative.

Mbete has said she was invited to join the empowerment group in 2010 and was not aware of any impropriety relating to the deal.

The ANC has complained to the Press Ombudsman over the Mail & Guardian, which first wrote about the deal.

That newspaper reported that mining company Gold Fields allegedly “buried” the law firm’s report.

The DA welcomed the investigation by the Hawks.

DA MP James Lorimer said in a statement on Sunday: “We trust that the Hawks will be afforded the opportunity to investigate without fear or favour and with the full cooperation from everyone involved.”

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