The ANC may have abandoned its internal probe into allegations of “state capture” by the Gupta family, but the Hawks investigation is ongoing.
“The investigation by the Hawks continues,” said Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi yesterday.
He was commenting after ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe indicated the ANC’s investigation had run into a dead-end. At a press briefing on Tuesday, Mantashe said that only eight complaints had been reported to the party, and that only one person - confirmed later to be former government spokesperson Themba Maseko - had provided a written submission. Therefore, he said, an investigation by the ANC would be a “fruitless exercise”.
Mantashe’s office had called on people who had evidence about instances of “state capture” to make submissions to the party so that the matter could be investigated.
This followed admissions by former ANC Member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor and deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas’ that they had been offered ministerial posts by members of the Gupta family, who are closely connected to President Jacob Zuma.
Since then other people have spoken out about the Guptas’ influence over the state, including Maseko who revealed how Zuma had arranged a meeting for him to “help” the Gupta family.
Mulaudzi said that the unit was following up on two complaints received about state capture. In reply to a question of whether the Hawks had been in communication with Jonas about the claims, he said the unit would not elaborate on the content of investigations.
In March, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was also asked to investigate claims of state capture, but her office could not proceed to due to lack of funds. Her office had approached national treasury.
Inquiries to the office of the Public Protector for an update remained unanswered yesterday.
A few weeks ago, a group of 45 former director-generals also appealed to Treasury to conduct a similar investigation.
The South African Communist Party has slammed the ANC’s decision to abandon its investigation, describing it as a “whitewash”, while Cosatu said it respected the party’s decision.
Reacting on Wednesday, Mentor said the ANC’s decision was the “precise reason” why she did not come forward with information.