ActionSA’s Top 10 Most Wanted Prosecutions When we Enter Government

Remarks by ActionSA President Herman Mashaba during a briefing on the priority prosecutions to be pursued by an ActionSA government.

Today, we are gathered at a crime scene. The Headquarters of the State Capture.

There is indeed no better place to announce ActionSA’s list of Top 10 ‘Most Wanted’ Prosecutions where – within 100 days after taking office following the 29 May elections – an ActionSA-led government will introduce processes in Parliament to ensure the quick and successful investigation and prosecution of implicated individuals.

It was at this very compound that the Gupta family conspired with our President to capture our state, controlling the apparatus of government, deciding on key state appointments, and ultimately, stealing an estimated R500 billion from the South African people.

It is a travesty of justice that six years since state capture came to a supposed end with the election of President Cyril Ramaphosa, not a single successful state capture prosecution has taken place.

Two years since Justice Raymond Zondo tabled the final State Capture Commission report, not a single person fingered in the report is behind bars.

The Gupta family, themselves, after spending nine years happily hollowing out the state, were able to escape prosecutions after the ruling party bungled their extradition processes.

Our justice system has been all but destroyed, leaving criminals to get away with impunity.

This is simply unacceptable.

This has to end.

Fellow South Africans,

Today, I am committing to you that an ActionSA government will act decisively to expedite investigations and give the National Prosecuting Authority the teeth it needs to put criminals behind bars.

Within the first 100 days after taking office, as President, I will immediately proclaim Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigations into, among others:

– President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala dollars cover-up;

– The VBS scandals where billions were stolen from our grandmothers and grandfathers;

– Deputy President, Paul Mashatile’s extensive network of benefactors who sponsor his luxurious lifestyle; and

– And the corrupt relationship between the state and consulting firms that have seen billions being siphoned off from state projects, like Kusile and Medupi to name just two.

We’d also take action to safeguard the independence of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), and ensure it is adequately capacitated to fight this cancer of corruption.

When serving as Johannesburg Executive Mayor, I appointed Major-General Shadrack Sibiya as Head of the City of Johannesburg’s first internal Anti-Corruption Unit, a unit that uncovered over R35 billion cases of fraud and corruption within three years.

Every time political parties reported cases of corruption against me, that unit carried out those investigations without any political interference.

The NPA must act without fear favour.

Working together with highly capable investigative bodies like a reinstated Scorpions, the NPA should be empowered to prosecute any political leader – including the President – if they have been found to have broken the law.

But, currently, the NPA is too heavily dependent on the Department of Justice for its funding, while the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) is appointed by the President.

ActionSA will ensure the NPA’s independence by significantly expanding its funding and allocating its budget directly from the Division of Revenue Act, instead of the Department of Justice.

We’d make sure the NDPP is free from political influence.

ActionSA will therefore ensure that the NDPP’s appointment process is led by a parliamentary committee that isn’t dominated by any majority party.

Similarly, we will similarly establish a separate oversight committee to oversee the work of the NPA, including its budget, to prevent a repeat of the decimation of the body seen during the Zuma era.

The composition of this parliamentary portfolio committee, like the appointment panel, will ensure that decisions aren’t steamrolled by a parliamentary majority in order to protect corrupt politicians.

Fellow South Africans,

Don’t trust the ruling party’s excuses; accountability in South Africa is possible.

The wheels of justice can, in fact, move quickly.

We can make sure the justice system works.

In this regard, ActionSA will establish specialised anti-corruption courts to expedite the prosecution of corruption cases and cultivate a culture of accountability.

We will introduce legislation to amend the Constitution to establish an independent Chapter 9 institution to combat corruption, alongside the return of the Scorpions specialised investigative unit.

We will increase the minimum sentence for anyone guilty of corruption in transactions exceeding R500,000 to 15 years imprisonment without the possibility of a fine or parole.

And, every single time someone goes to prison for serious crimes such as rape, murder, drug trafficking and corruption, they will pay back their debt to society by producing goods on farms or being engaged in public works programs.

Medical parole will also no longer be abused.

Under ActionSA, no person will be released on medical parole just to – like Schabir Shaik – make a ‘miraculous’ recovery and play on golf courses weeks later.

Former President, Jacob Zuma, was released on medical parole after only serving two months of his prison sentence, but today appears active on the campaign trail at events across the country.

How is that possible?

Under ActionSA, whistle-blowers such as Babita Deokaran – who are heroes in our society – will finally be protected.

ActionSA will ensue that legislation is updated to entrench the confidentiality of whistle-blowers, ensure that they are protected against retaliation, provide them with appropriate legal immunity and provide access to remedial action.

It is possible to reverse the breakdown of the rule of law which has taken place under the ruling party.

Fellow South Africans,

The list of Top 10 ‘Most Wanted’ Prosecutions we are presenting today is a list of high-profile individuals where a long list of evidence exists for them to be criminally prosecuted.

These are cases which are clearly ready to be prosecuted, but instead the South African people receive excuse after excuse for endless delays, while our criminal justice system is abused to prevent those implicated facing accountability.

With the mountain of evidence, it is simply unacceptable that these cases are not being speedily prosecuted.

Take the Lily Mine matter as an example: an inquest by the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court already found in October last year that the NPA should consider criminal prosecution against individuals – including the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy – for the death of three mine workers at Lily Mie in February 2016.

But, five months after the inquest, the NPA is yet to make to make a decision on possible prosecutions.

This is but just one example of how evidence exists for prosecutions to take place, but the NPA is slow to take any action.

Even after a court ruling determines that prosecution is necessary, it takes months before anyone is arrested.

Instead, we get delay after delay.

Let us be clear: An ActionSA government will never interfere in the NPA.

But, it is not political interference which has stopped these cases from being prosecuted, but political interference which has protected these individuals from accountability.

Justice Zondo himself said that implementation of the State Capture Commission report has been slow, likely due to a lack of political will.

It is a lack of political will which has seen the return of corruption-accused politicians such as Bheki Cele, Zizi Kodwa, and David Mahlobo on ruling party lists to be Members of Parliament.

It is a lack of political will that allowed Parks Tau to be promoted to Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in Ramaphosa’s government, even after damming corruption allegations emerged.

During his time as MMC Finance in the City of Joburg, Tau allegedly conspired with Geoff Makhubo to award lucrative city contracts to Gupta-linked Regiments Capital, for which Makhubo’s company, Molelwane Consulting received a 10% kick-back. Tau’s wife also benefitted from the Regiments relationship.

And then during his tenure Mayor, the prime-positioned land above the Sandton Gautrain Station, valued at R280 million at the time, was gifted to a consortium led by Regiments Capital. No money was paid to the city. Parks Tau’s brother-in-law and a mysterious trust with ANC pedigree received R10-million for this deal.

I, myself, laid criminal charges against Tau in December 2018, but do you think police ever cared to investigate?

Furthermore, more than two weeks after National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, faced imminent arrest over possibly receiving bribes when she was Defence Minister, President Ramaphosa is yet to condemn her behaviour.

Instead, she gets away with being placed on special leave, thereby still enjoying parliamentary benefits.

This is why ActionSA will introduce a legislative amendment which will prohibit criminals who have been convicted of serious fraud or corruption charges to come to Parliament.

An ActionSA government will have the political will to act against corruption, even if it is not convenient.

As City of Johannesburg Mayor, I removed no less than four MMCs – including three from my own party – for poor performance, blocking corruption investigations or misconduct.

In government, ActionSA will act with the same level of decisiveness.

Fellow South Africans,

I now invite Team Fix South Africa Member for Justice and Constitutional Development, Advocate Julie Anne Lopes-Seton, to present ActionSA’s list of Top 10 ‘Most Wanted’ Prosecutions.

Had it not been for their untimely demise, individuals such as Bosasa’s Angelo Agrizzi and Gavin Watson, and Steinhoff’s Marcus Jooste could also have been included on this list. Grand corruption and fraud is not limited to politicians, but is enabled by a complicit private sector.

Advocate Seton, the podium is yours.

Remarks by Team Fix South Africa Member for Justice and Correctional Affairs, Adv Julie Anne Lopes-Seton, during a briefing on the priority prosecutions to be pursued by an ActionSA government.

Good morning,

I cannot think of a better place to announce our list of Top 10 Most Wanted Prosecutions, and the action we intend taking, to ensure that those culpable are brought to book than the “Saxonwold Shebeen”.

It is the perfect setting to reveal those we intend holding accountable for their nefarious actions.

Regrettably, it was incredibly difficult to only draw up 10 names, not because they are so few, but sadly because we are spoiled for choice in the corruption department and there is a line-up of luminaries who should have made the cut in the worst way.

Let’s start with the definition of corruption.

Chapter 2 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act defines corruption as “any person who gives or accepts or offers to and accepts any gratification amounting to an unauthorised or improper inducement to act, or not to act, in a particular manner, is guilty of an offence.”

A rather broad definition.

And when you look at that and compare it to what our top 10 have been getting up to it is clear that so much more than corruption is at play here.

We want these people investigated and we want to remove the investigations from the moribund magistrate’s court system, and ensure that these prosecutions are dealt with by specialised courts formed for this purpose, which report directly to a Chapter 9 Institution.

But, as ActionSA President Herman Mashaba mentioned in his remarks, an ActionSA government would never interfere in public prosecutions.

We, however, believe that politics have shielded these individuals from accountability.

How is it possible that after mounting evidence, and two years after the final state capture report was tabled, not a single successful state capture conviction has taken place?

Nor have any of the individuals with adverse findings against them sought to take the report on review, as has been confirmed by the Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

We simply cannot live in a country that allows this level of immunity any longer!

We need the political will to take action, capacitate the NPA and ensure that it can fulfil its mandate without fear of repercussion.

The list of Top 10 ‘Most Wanted’ Prosecutions we are therefore presenting today is a list of high-profile individuals where clear evidence exists for them to be brought to book.

These are individuals who are clearly ready to be prosecuted, but instead we have seen delay after delay, excuse after excuse.

These are individuals who clearly deserve to be investigated and held accountable, but for political reasons, they are being protected.

So without further delay, let me present ActionSA’s list of ‘Top 10 Most Wanted Prosecutions’.

The list is presented in alphabetical order, and is therefore not ranked.

1. Ace Magashule. Mr Teflon who uses his sons to foil allegations that he is involved in:

– Corruption in the R255 million asbestos tender

– Corruption in the R280 million Vrede Dairy Project

– Contravention of the Public Finance Management Act

– Fraud, corruption, and money-laundering

2. Edwin Sodi, not a politician but well deserving of inclusion.

Mr. Sodi has become synonymous with a new capital elite that is siphoning money from government contracts and channels it through to the governing ANC in the form of “donations”, all the while delivering sub-par work which has contributed to incomplete crucial maintenance of critical waste water infrastructure such as Rooiwal WasteWater Treatment Plant.

Mr Sodi warrants inclusion because of the allegations surrounding:

– Corruption in the R255 million asbestos tender

– Corruption in the R290 million Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant tender

– Contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act

– Fraud, corruption, and money-laundering

3. Floyd Shivambu.

Those who flaunt it and have certainly not worked for the money they have amassed, must be investigated and charged for the part he played in

– Corruption in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal

– R3,6 million in VBS loot traced to Shivambu’s bank account.

– Corruption and money laundering

It is for this reason that an ActionSA-led government would institute an SIU investigation into the VBS scandal to unearth the corruption which has taken place, to further solidify the findings of the South African Reserve Bank’s The Great Bank Heist commissioned by Adv. Terry Motau.

4. Gwede Mantashe.

Back on the ANC lists for parliament, notwithstanding the fact that the State Capture Commission Report found he unduly benefited from the BOSASA grand-scale corruption:

– Accepting home renovations and security upgrades from Bosasa.

– Contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act

– Bribery and Corruption

5. Julius Malema. 

He who uses anything and anyone to deflect and draw attention away from the luxury lifestyle he leads without having any means of proving that it was honestly earned. We want to see him being investigated for;

– Corruption in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal

– Stole millions of Rands through the VBS scheme

– Public Protector Report titled, “On the Point of Tenders”, for possible violations of our tax laws

– Corruption, fraud, and money laundering.

These allegations would also be referred to the SIU under an ActionSA-led government.

6. Former President Jacob Zuma.

Is he a fraud or has he committed fraud? Our Chief State Capture Architect who conspired with the Guptas to plunder the State’s resources while deliberately and intentionally aided and abetted the capture of our strategic SOE’s, such as SARS, SAA, Transnet, Eskom to name a few.

His disregard for the rule of law is manifest in his insistence to again attempt to stand for office, knowing he may not, and not stopping his party from threatening violence if they do not get their way.

7. Malusi Gigaba.

A captured Minister back on the ANC lists, notwithstanding the allegations that he:

– Accepted cash payments from the Guptas

– Appointed the Gupta family to strategic positions at state-owned companies

– Conspired to capture Transnet Possible money laundering and racketeering

8. Nomvula “Mama Action”  Mokonyane.

First Deputy Secretary of the ANC, first female Premier of Gauteng, served as Minister for Water and Sanitation, Environmental Affairs and Communications. She has been accused of:

– Having accepted bribes from Bosasa

– Seeking to influence the contracting of suppliers for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project

– Violation of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act

– Breach of constitutional and ethical responsibilities

9. Zandile Gumede.

former Mayor of eThekwini, currently under a massive cloud with allegations of hit squads and money laundering abounding. The allegations include:

– Defrauded the eThekwini Municipality

– Committed a R320 million tender fraud concerning the Durban Solid Waste tender

– Contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act

– Contravention of the Municipal Systems Act

– Corruption, fraud, money laundering, and racketeering

Although Ms. Gumede has been charged, we believe the wheels of justice are moving too slowly and are being deliberately sabotaged.

10. Zweli Mkhize

Yet another candidate in the ANC lists implicated in:

– Corruption in the Digital Vibes tender

– R9 million traced to Mkhize’s son and his family

The fraudulent contract cost the Department of Health R150 million during the Covid-19 pandemic

So that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason we are here today. To highlight the damage that has been caused to our country over the last 30 years and, unless we do take action, the next 30 will be worse.

Let’s uphold the rule of law, let’s investigate those who deserve investigation and ensure those who have wronged our beloved South Africa and her people, are pursued to the fullest extent of the law.

Let’s get the specialised courts up and running and hold those responsible for corruption to account.

Let’s weed out the rot.

Let’s fix South Africa on 29 May.