Gupta enterprise scored about R16bn from state capture-related contracts, Zondo Commission hears

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Ajay and Atul Gupta. (Gallo Images)
Ajay and Atul Gupta. (Gallo Images)
  • Paul Holden of Shadow World Investigations appeared before the Zondo Commission on Monday. 
  • He told the commission more than R49 billion was paid for contracts "tainted by state capture". 
  • Holden said of this amount, Gupta enterprise earned just under R16 billion.

The Gupta enterprise earned just under R16 billion from contracts "tainted by state capture" awarded by organs of state, the Zondo Commission heard on Monday.

Paul Holden appeared for the second time before commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

He had compiled a report analysing thousands of bank statements, and detailing the alleged laundering of money linked to state capture corruption.

Holden, a director of investigations at London-based Shadow World Investigations, said an amount of more than R49 billion was awarded to various contractors "in expenditure tainted by state capture involving the Gupta enterprises".

Of this amount, he said, R15 967 208 084.87 was paid directly or indirectly to Gupta entities.

READ| Over R49bn spent on contracts 'tainted by state capture', Zondo Commission hears

Holden also touched on the top three sites of state capture - Transnet, Eskom and the Fee State government.

He said Transnet was responsible for an amount of R40 084 201 927, which was 81.59% of the payment made by the state in contracts related to state capture involving Gupta enterprises.

Holden added Eskom paid R6 969 886 305.20, while the Free State government paid R441 042 621.08.

Asked by Zondo if most of the payments, especially Eskom and Transnet, were made after 2013, he said: "That is correct, chair."

He added more money was spent as the years went by.

The Gupta enterprise is very efficient at handling these criminal funds and using them to reinvest into new assets than used to procure additional funds from the state, and it becomes a snowball effect of criminal funds being recycled…

Holden also shifted his focus to losses suffered by the state. 

He said state organs made payments of R254 757 700.44 to The New Age newspaper for advertising and marketing. 

"It can safely be assumed that most, if not all of this expenditure would have been avoided if the Gupta enterprise had not exercised the influence over the state that it did."

Holden also mentioned the Estina dairy project, saying it showed "there is almost no attempt to deliver".

READ| State capture inquiry: Estina was 'used to launder cash' prior to initiation of dairy project

It seemed that from "conception through execution, the whole project was designed simply to enrich the Gupta enterprise and deliver effectively no value to the state", he told the commission. 

The price inflation on contracts made with the Gupta enterprise by state entities was another loss suffered by the state, Holden said.

This was in cases where no competitive bidding processes took place, he added, saying in this instance, the amount paid by the state was "considerably more" compared with going market rates. 

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