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VBS Truter

Update: VBS finance boss Truter strikes deal with NPA

The alleged fraudsters behind the bank’s destruction will face insider testimony when they go to trial. Their former colleague will be spilling the beans.

Instructions from the boss: Gupta-linked public enterprises DG in ‘irregular’ R22m procurement 

Leaked draft forensic reports claim Richard Seleke — the Gupta-tainted former public enterprises director general — pushed through a tender for a company he allegedly knew from the Free State. 

How VBS bet on saving itself with Prasa money — and lost by the skin of its teeth

In an extract from his new book, VBS: A Dream Defrauded, amaB investigator Dewald van Rensburg reveals how executives pulled out the stops to save their foundering bank with a R1-billion deposit from the passenger rail agency — a state-owned entity, if any, that could ill afford it.

Prasa pays R3m to Mbaks’s administrator — just before court culls him

On the eve of a court ruling that the transport minister had appointed Prasa’s administrator unlawfully, the rail agency rushed through payment for his nine-month tenure.

Part two: The hollow man? In the wars

In part one, we asked whether arms trader Ivor Ichikowitz was a “man of Africa”, as he says, or gutting some local assets while building an offshore empire. Now we look at detailed claims that his group hobbled a subsidiary by holding back resources when they were needed most.

FinCEN Files: Planes, boats and tax havens

Leaked US Treasury records offer a glimpse into the business empire of controversial Paramount founder Ivor Ichikowitz.

Former SAP exec implicates global software business in corruption probe

SAP executives in the US and Germany were repeatedly warned the practice of paying commissions to “business development partners” in South Africa was an invitation to corruption, a senior ex-colleague tells investigators.

Obituary: Regiments Capital

In the late 2000s, Regiments used its proximity to the ANC to capture the City of Jo’burg. Then, when the Guptas came to town, it hitched its wagon to the state capture train.

SARS hits Guptas with major tax bill and unearths R105m in mystery payments

A tax audit has pried open new details of the money laundering structure used by the crime family to fund the infamous wedding in Sun City with cash from the Estina dairy project. It turns out the wedding was only part of the story.

New York court grants IDC access to Gupta financial records from 17 international banks

Evidence showing how Gupta family businesses round-tripped and laundered state funds from the Estina dairy project as well as Transnet locomotive deal kickbacks, may lie in the electronic vaults of more than a dozen New York banks. Now, the IDC has been given the keys.

New evidence points to corruption in SAP’s R1-billion water deals

At the height of state capture, the global software giant walked into the most captured places in the country and walked out with record-breaking deals. It did this by paying “commissions” worth millions. We already know about contracts at Eskom and Transnet, but now two more at the department of water and sanitation have come back to haunt it.

Part one: The hollow man?

Is arms trader Ivor Ichikowitz a ‘man of Africa’, as he says, or is he gutting some of his assets in SA while building an offshore empire?

IDC ‘suckered’ into making a R185-million business loan allegedly diverted to pay off debts and buy a Bentley   

A politically connected group allegedly ripped off the state-owned development financier by diverting most of a loan meant for an engineering firm, which was then put into business rescue.

Paramount group

Advocacy comment: Why amaB is challenging liquidation inquiry secrecy

AmaBhungane has approached the high court on an urgent basis to access a “section 417” inquiry into the collapse of Paramount Combat Systems, an armoured vehicle manufacturer that forms part of an international – and politically connected – group.

Iqbal Survé takes another bite at the PIC apple

The Cape businessman seems set to extract millions more from the R4.3-billion his company irregularly scored from the PIC – but JSE rules are complicating his latest attempt.

Advocacy comment: Beneficial ownership disclosure is indispensable in the fight against procurement ‘hyenas’

That there are opportunists who will look at a global tragedy and see only a chance to defraud the public purse underscores an urgent need: we must know who these people are. We need beneficial ownership transparency in procurement.

GroundUp NLC

Gambling on secrecy: a ‘sock-puppet militia’ bites off more than it can chew

The National Lotteries Commission is a Goliath, funding “worthy causes” to the tune of about R1.3-billion annually. But when a couple of media Davids started investigating just how worthy some of those causes were, a ragtag “astroturf army” sprang up to make common cause with the NLC and its bid to keep beneficiaries secret. If the plan was to silence questions, then it has backfired badly.

Update: Here are the papers in Eskom’s multi-billion state capture summons

Eskom and the SIU have put together the biggest claim yet to recover moneys looted during the state capture era. 

How amaB helps the recovery – literally

Our investigations have helped identify billions that are being recovered by the state and state-owned companies. Help us do more.

Prisoners fear for their lives at Sun City as Covid-19 wave spreads

Official figures say Covid-19 has killed about 20 inmates inside South Africa’s prisons – but some prisoners say it may be worse. Slow progress with releasing qualifying prisoners on parole may have contributed to the spread of the virus because social distancing is “impossible”.