DA calls on the Hawks to widen investigation into Prasa's money trail

2016-01-31 21:09


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Johannesburg – The DA has called on the Hawks to widen their investigation into the R80m paid to Angolan businesswoman who is close friends with President Jacob Zuma, and to a controversial lawyer who is the business partner of one of his sons.  

According to DA Shadow Minister of Transport Manny de Freitas, he would write to Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's (Prasa) chairperson, Popo Molefe, requesting that he urgently table the outcomes of the Prasa Board’s own internal enquiry as announced in September 3 2015. 

“We will also be summoning the Prasa Board to gather whether they have reported any of their findings to National Treasury and the auditor general – as per the public protector’s remedial recommendations,” he said.   

On Sunday, Rapport's lead story revealed that questionable payments, totalling almost R80m, were made to an Angolan businesswoman a controversial lawyer.  

According to the newspaper, investigators into the Prasa’s controversial R3.5bn contract for new locomotives are probing suspicious payments made by the managing director of Swifambo Rail Leasing - the contractor - which they say possibly point to "massive corruption" during the deal.

The company of a Maria da Cruz Gomes - who, according to the report, is an Angolan businesswoman who Zuma regularly visited in her plush home in a Sandton complex - allegedly received payments totalling about R40m from Auswell Mashaba, Swifambo's MD.

Mashaba also allegedly made payments totalling nearly R39m to the law firm of George Sabelo, a business partner of Zuma's eldest son.

Sabelo was implicated in the 2013 PetroSA corruption scandal after it came to light that he had channelled some R11m related to PetroSA contracts to unknown third parties.

Rapport claims to have documents detailing how Mashaba paid nearly R80m to Similex, Gomes's company, and to Sabelo's law firm, Nkosi Sabelo, during 2013 and 2014, following Prasa's first tranches of payments to Mashaba's company.

"The DA will strive to bring to account for the R80m of tax-payers money paid to Gomes' company, Similex, for activities not related to Prasa... [We will] continue to hold accountable corrupt officials in state owned enterprises that use taxpayers as if it were their personal piggybank,” said De Freitas.

Read more on:    da  |  prasa  |  hawks  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg

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