The South African Federation of Trade Unions welcomes the Hawks’ raid on the Gupta compound in Saxonwold, Johannesburg this morning, the arrest of Ajay Gupta, and the simultaneous arrest of Peter Thabethe, former head of the Free State Agriculture Department, in connection with the investigation into the Vrede Dairy Farm scandal.
These moves follow their search and seizure operations at the office of Free State Premier Ace Magashule and the provincial office of the Department of Agriculture relating to allegations of corruption, and the theft of over Ri billion which was budgeted to assist poor farmers.
The federation also welcomes the statement by Hawks Spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi. that “We are not playing around. We take this investigation very seriously”.
This is a further victory for SAFTU and all the other organizations who have been demanding this sort of serious action for a long time. It gives us hope that there is now a serious drive to prosecute those allegedly involved in corruption and the looting of public money.
Welcome though it is however, these raids must be just the opening shots in a much broader campaign against all those implicated in this and many other scandals, including those in the private sector, such as McKinsey and Trillian, who were involved in the R1.59 billion looted through fraud, theft, corruption and money laundering from Eskom.
The Hawks and NPA must now take the same kind of action against all of those named in the former Public Protector’s ‘State of Capture’ report, the Gupta emails and Jacques Pauw’s ‘The President’s Keepers’. There must be no exceptions, amnesties, pardons or plea bargaining. Every one of those involved must now face their day in court.
SAFTU also continues to insist that these crimes are not confined to a few businesses, families and politicians – a ‘Guptocracy’ – but is an inherent feature of a monopoly capitalist system, whose ruling class captured the state years ago and still dominates economic policy-making today.