UPL disaster: Residents kept in the dark about dangers on their doorstep

Test results have finally confirmed that pesticides – including known carcinogens – poisoned rivers, soil and beaches in Durban. Provincial authorities say they have opened a criminal case against agro-chemical giant UPL but for residents who were exposed to toxic fumes and contaminated water, there is a growing fear of the unknown long-term health effects.

UPL disaster: Initial tests found high levels of arsenic from Durban’s chemical spill

Eight weeks after a fire at the UPL chemical warehouse, long-awaited test results confirm that chemicals contaminated soil and rivers leaving them “highly toxic”. But internal letters show that even UPL’s own experts disagreed over what the results actually meant for public safety.

“Dr Dan” Matjila’s secret deal to make Survé’s R700m debt to pensioners ‘disappear’

Yet another court case has laid bare allegations the former chief executive of the Public Investment Corporation secretly signed away state pensioners’ claims worth hundreds of millions of rands to help his alleged friend, media mogul Iqbal Survé.

UPL chemical disaster: A gaping legal loophole or jaw-dropping negligence?

How did a warehouse storing tons of toxic and flammable chemicals, some banned elsewhere, quietly move in next door to a school, a Makro superstore and a wetland without anyone knowing? 

Independent “outsources” staff to tap Public Investment Corporation billions

Iqbal Survé’s Independent Media — and other companies in his Sekunjalo Investment Holdings stable — have moved dozens of workers to the legally unrelated but PIC-subsidised payroll of Ayo Technology Solutions. Among them is at least one journalist — the controversial former Sunday Times investigator Mzilikazi wa Afrika.

Chemical warehouse torched in Durban

Here it is: The toxic stockpile of chemicals in torched Durban warehouse

UPL, one of the world’s largest chemical multinationals, refuses to disclose what poisoned a Durban river, the city’s air and its beaches. Now amaBhungane has accessed the inventory, which includes suspected carcinogens, neurotoxins, chemicals that “may damage the unborn child” and tons of “highly caustic” substances that burn skin on contact.

Special project: Tenders and powerships — all amaB’s stories on the RMI4P emergency power bidding process, Karpowership SA and more

Government’s strategy to address the country’s energy crisis — through its 20-year, multi-billion rand tender, has come under the microscope since energy minister Gwede Mantashe’s initial call for proposals in mid-2020. Allegations, as exposed by AmaBhungane, bring into question the true intent of those involved in the process. To know more about those allegations, dig into our archive of work on this controversial tender.

Karpowership SA: How much again?

The South African contract Karpowership is chasing could be a game-changer for the group, making Eskom its largest client globally. What will we pay and how much will the Turkish conglomerate pocket? Dewald van Rensburg does the sums.

Powerships: How the tender kneecapped renewables and favoured gas

Hundreds of pages of “briefing notes” reveal that frustrated renewable bidders warned government that nonsensical rules of the emergency power programme would force bidders to burn fossil fuels and result in consumers paying more than they need to for electricity. 

Absa does a Gupta on Iqbal Survé

Absa does a Gupta on Iqbal Survé

The bank has cut ties with 24 companies directly or indirectly controlled by Iqbal Survé’s Sekunjalo Investment Holdings. The move is reminiscent of the beginning of the end of the Gupta empire.

DvR VBS bookcover3

VBS indictment lifts lid on Danny Msiza’s money machine

A 206-page indictment of suspects in the VBS Mutual Bank case has blown the lid off the patronage system beneath the scheme that destroyed the bank as well as the alleged shameless bribery that went with it.

Funder vs funder in R500m pots fiasco

Astonishing sums of public money were poured into a cooking-pot factory project which quickly sank under the weight of mismanagement. Amid the acrimonious fallout, the IDC – made to look foolish – has blacklisted a fellow development funder while court cases are mounting.

Iqbal Surve PIC Matjila

PIC looks on while ‘Survé Inc’ burns through state pensioners’ billions

Controversial newspaper owner Iqbal Survé continues to side-step the state fund manager’s efforts to reclaim the fortune that its former boss threw his way. Meanwhile ever more of the PIC’s cash is being spent propping up the Survé empire.

Zondo Commission

EOH’s Mackay doled it out to Zizi Kodwa and other ANC officials, Zondo hears

Flamboyant tech firm executive Jehan Mackay made repeated payments to ANC functionaries over three years, the Zondo commission heard today [Wednesday]. An investigation commissioned by EOH found payments to the current deputy minister of state security, the then ANC Youth League treasurer and Jacob Zuma’s assistant.

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.

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.

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.