14 June 2024 | 02:07 AM

Listen: Stefaans Brümmer unpacks his ‘Locorruption’ investigation


On Monday it will be three years exactly since amaBhungane and its partners published the first #GuptaLeaks investigation. It showed that China South Rail (CSR) had promised kickbacks totaling R5.3-billion to the Guptas and their associates via letterbox companies in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.

Today, June 1, 2020, amaBhungane published an investigation that reveals an additional seven kickback agreements, most of them made public for the first time.

*Retrace Brümmer’s steps and access a spreadsheet, with a comprehensive analyse of money flows, as well as all the kickback agreements via our evidence docket.

Brümmer took EWN’s Bongani Bingwa through his mammoth investigation, which included analysing bank data, matching payments that left Transnet as rands with US dollars inflows in Hong Kong and UAE bank accounts, while also adjusting for exchange rates on the day each payment was made.

On Transnet contracts worth R41.9-billion, companies in the CRRC stable pledged R9-billion in kickbacks to the Guptas. By the time our banking data ends in October 2016, the Guptas had already received at least R3.69-billion.

In his piece, Locorruption reloaded: We reveal Gupta kickback contracts worth R9bn, Brümmer writes:

“The kickbacks were paid by two locomotive manufacturers now merged to form CRRC Corporation, the Beijing-based conglomerate that boasts of being the world’s largest supplier of rail equipment. But the money came from ordinary South Africans via Transnet, a state-owned company. It followed a simple formula: whatever Transnet paid the CRRC companies, they paid the Guptas a cut of, usually 21%.

Listen to the interview:

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Before joining the amaBhungane team in 2017, Micah was the national coordinator for media freedom and diversity at the Right2Know Campaign. He holds a Masters in African Studies from Oxford University and a BA Honours in History from Wits University.

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