No holds barred: Controversial businessman Zunaid Moti locked in a vicious legal battle with former cage-fighter

In a bitter legal battle pitting two controversial businessmen against each other, former cage-fighter Frederick Lutzkie has levelled numerous damaging allegations of criminality and fraud against Moti, whom he accuses of ripping him off in an investment in a platinum plant. Moti and his associates have hit back, accusing Lutzkie of attempting to extort them. Mafia tactics, an apparent assassination and a sexual abuse coverup have all featured in the case.

Comment: Secrecy on Public Procurement Bill betrays the process and the people

The National Treasury has veiled its public participation process on procurement reform in secrecy. That undermines the integrity of the process and risks perpetuating the disasters of government’s current procurement system, say members of the Procurement Reform Working Group.

SA doctors stall Glencore’s mega-settlement over alleged DRC ‘bribe’ by Gertler associate.

Two South African doctors are fighting to piggyback on the commodity trading behemoth’s $1,1-billion corruption settlement with American authorities, claiming R860-million related to a bizarre saga in which Glencore admits paying to bribe a judge in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They allege the payment was orchestrated by a right-hand-man of sanctioned billionaire Dan Gertler.

How Siyaya TV took advantage of Bakgatla Ba Kgafela’s fortune

When the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela traditional council financed a pay-TV channel in 2014, council chair Kgosi John Pilane promised it would create jobs and “change the face of broadcasting”. Now a forensic investigation suggests Pilane was conflicted from the start and shows how the council forked out nearly R100-million on the never-never to keep Siyaya TV afloat.

Comment: Rushed legislation to strengthen financial oversight betrays a weakened law-making regime

The risk of greylisting from the Financial Action Task Force has triggered the drafting of laws to strengthen South Africa’s financial accountability regime. But a rushed law-making process has resulted in bills presented to Parliament which do not adequately respond to South Africa’s unique challenges in combating financial crime.

The collapse of old king coal: the war over the future of coal begins (part 3)

Eskom plans to spend at least R170-billion in a bid to maintain and restore the coal fleet. Will this solve the energy crisis or are we just throwing good money after bad?

Corruption in the ABC Motsepe League – internal report lifts the lid on SAFA intrigue

The South African Football Association (SAFA) uncovered a match-fixing syndicate in the 2016 ABC Motsepe League play-offs. Now an internal report exposes the cheating, names names ahead of a long-delayed criminal trial and shows SAFA did not fully follow its own recommendations by failing to make an example of those who engineered the plot.

Lindiwe Sisulu’s attack is an abuse of public office

The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism is calling on government to retract an official press release – issued by the office of the Minister of Tourism – which calls Sam Sole, amaBhungane’s co-founder, a “well-known apartheid agent”.

THE LAUNDRY: how shape-shifting “money launderers” infiltrated SA banks (part one)

Over the past decade Johannesburg banks have been fair game for a group of alleged money launderers tied to luminaries in the gold and tobacco sectors. The cash flow was enough to transform a small bank’s balance sheet overnight, yet no-one raised the alarm. We ask: why was it so easy and where was the Reserve Bank?

Sisulu insiders warn: appoint Lindiwe and you get her controlling advisor thrown in

Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu has positioned herself as the battering ram for the RET campaign to unseat Cyril Ramaphosa and advertised her own presidential ambitions. But multiple sources in Sisulu’s own orbit warn that she is to a worrying extent the victim of her abrasive advisor, Mphumzi Mdekazi.

Newsletter: Today is South Africa’s Media Freedom Day

Today is South Africa’s Media Freedom Day, marking the events of 19 October 1977 and what became known as “Black Wednesday”, when the apartheid regime banned The World, Weekend World and The Voice newspapers, arrested editor Percy Qoboza, and outlawed several Black Consciousness organisations.

Shaky ground: Property magnate embroiled in police investigation of R70m alleged ‘land flip’.

The Gauteng government bought a Midvaal farm for more than ten times the price it was sold for only a few years prior. The R70-million transaction was a windfall for the middleman, property tycoon Rali Mampeule, whose company was paid out R44-million in “commission” on the deal. Now the police are investigating, but Mampeule insists he’ll be vindicated.

The collapse of old king coal part 2:how unrealistic targets created an energy crisis

How a toxic mix of politics and optimism led us into the current energy crisis, and why we risk repeating a disastrous history.

UPDATE: Nurses’ union linked to Tembisa Hospital CEO faces deregistration

Last week amaBhungane reported on the role of a little-known nurses’ union in the Tembisa Hospital saga.

The collapse of old king coal (part 1)

How did Eskom hit energy bankruptcy? To quote Hemingway: “Gradually, then suddenly.” We explain how a toxic combination of politics and blind optimism led us into an energy crisis. Now we must face the fact that Eskom’s coal fleet is failing.

“Hijacked” nurses union sides with embattled Tembisa hospital boss

A power struggle over control of a nursing union and its finances has left the wife of suspended Tembisa hospital chief executive Ashley Mthunzi in control. The Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union has since become a strident supporter of the CEO.

The Durban whistleblower, the deadly hit and the dodgy R30m ‘debt’

Ethekwini municipality’s attempt to hand a dubious R30-million “settlement” to a tenderpreneur — and punish the whistleblower who exposed its questionable origins — is unraveling thanks to a bungled court case.

Header graphic images-65

Sasfin pursuing millions in “odious” school debts

Seemingly questionable debts hobbling a poor school in Soweto have found their way into the investment bank’s vast securitisation programme, with apparently scant attention paid to the dubious underlying contracts. This cautionary tale of alleged corruption and opportunism has now resulted in the financial Goliath pursuing a hapless David.

EDITORIAL: Manufactured dissent

“Anti-imperial” clique makes common cause with right wing.

Who killed New Frame?

Evidence suggests the publication was hostage to its main donor, Roy Singham, that its failure to diversify its funding was a feature, not a bug, and that when it came to be regarded as less useful politically it was deliberately abandoned, rather than being given the chance to gain real independence. Unanswered questions remain about Singham’s role – and about his relationship with his presumed Chinese overlords.

Sasol, CEF to open “gas bridge” to Mozambique

Amidst an unprecedented loadshedding crisis, the Central Energy Fund is pushing ahead with energy minister Gwede Mantashe’s plan to build a “gas bridge” to Mozambique, while Eskom calls for up to 6 000 megawatts of new gas-fired power to urgently be added to the grid.

The veteran, the doctor and the PIC’s dodgy R600-million land deal

Extracting money from the Public Investment Corporation for dubious projects seems to have been easy – if you were willing to shell out massive “fees” to connected gatekeepers. That’s the implication of the latest investment debacle amaBhungane has uncovered involving the troubled state pension fund manager.