Citizen reporter
3 minute read
21 Jun 2018
6:10 am

BLF readies to tackle ‘white monopoly capital state capture’

Citizen reporter

Also in their sights are Steinhoff bosses and Pravin Gordhan, for purported mismanagement of R6bn at Treasure while he was finance minister.

BLF leaders Andile Mngxitama and Zanele Lwana.

Black First Land First (BLF) says it is gearing up to submit mounds of documents containing damning evidence on state capture involving what it calls “white monopoly capital” to the State Capture Commission.

The commission is led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

BLF deputy president Zanele Lwana yesterday said it would approach the commission today in order to get clarity about what processes they should follow to submit the evidence.

She said it had obtained enough evidence that would make a strong case against some of the biggest businesses, mainly commercial banks that received bailouts during the apartheid era.

BLF is known to have close ties with the controversial Gupta family.

Lwana said: “As the BLF, we want to understand what process we can follow to submit this evidence because we are interested in the evidence pertaining to the white monopoly capital and how R26 billion was looted from the state coffers, from which Absa, Nedbank and Johann Rupert benefited during the apartheid era.

“This money was given to them as a lifeboat by the apartheid government and this commission must investigate that.”

The said debt emanated from a bailout offered by the SA Reserve Bank as a lifeboat to Bankorp, from 1985 to 1992, before it became Absa. Bailouts from the central bank to Bankorp continued up until 1995.

In her report last year, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found Absa to be liable to pay back the money, and recommended that at least R1 billion be returned to the state purse.

But the SA Reserve Bank and National Treasury put a legal challenge to her recommendation and asked the High Court in Pretoria to overturn it. This while Absa continued to deny any involvement in the state capture project and also claimed to have returned some of the money it was loaned.

Lwana yesterday accused the central bank and Absa of trying to cover up the matter by putting an unnecessary challenge to Mkhwebane’s recommendation.

According to Lwana, BLF wants the commission to also probe an alleged amount of R18 billion that was looted by bosses of Steinhoff and about R6 billion that was mismanaged at National Treasury while Pravin Gordhan was finance minister.

“We are going to submit boxes and boxes of evidence of state capture by the white monopoly capital,” Lwana said.

“We know that the government of President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to reduce the terms of the reference for the commission to cover only allegation of state capture by the Guptas. It can’t be only the Guptas; what about these companies?”

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela linked the Guptas to the state capture project involving state-owned enterprises such as Eskom and Transnet. The family was also associated with the appointment of Cabinet ministers under then president Jacob Zuma.

They also allegedly ran government projects such as the Estina dairy farm in Free State and monopolised contracts in the Free State and North West.

Gordhan and his former deputy Mcebisi Jonas had been key in unveiling state capture incidents by the Guptas, who are sought by the SA Police Service. Both are likely to give evidence at the commission.

news@citizen.co.za

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