The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) applauds the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) team, under advocate Knorx Molelle, for obtaining an order under section 38 of the Proceeds of Crime Act against the companies that stole money from Eskom, Trillian and McKinsey and Co.
Through Salim Essa’s Trillian, millions of looted wealth were diverted into Gupta bank accounts. We want that R595 million returned to state coffers with interest and penalties.
Through McKinsey and Co, R1.1 billion was corruptly paid to a multinational consulting firm, whose claims to be governance experts stands exposed. They have shown themselves in South Africa to be enablers of elite looting. We want this money paid back with interest and penalties.
We also applaud AFU action against the Gupta-linked Estina company in the Free State.
In October, SAFTU laid criminal charges against Trillian and its shareholders. Since then we have actively engaged with the AFU team through our lawyers to provide whatever assistance they needed to bring this order to pass. We were pleased to find other organisations such as OUTA and PPLAAF doing the same work alongside us.
We have been aware of the order since last year but have kept mum to allow the tracing of assets to take place effectively.
We are concerned that the order took one whole month to execute after being granted by Judge Murphy on 15 December 2017. We call on the curator to move with all due speed now.
We are outraged that the NPA and Hawks have still made no progress with the criminal prosecutions. The AFU team has only been on board since late 2017. However, the NPA and Hawks knew already since late 2016 that Trillian was involved in theft, fraud and corruption.
With the investigatory tools at the NPA’s disposal, Salim Essa, Eric Wood and the Guptas could long ago have been put in the dock. It is well known that Shaun Abrahams has been blocking this event.
The order granted against McKinsey and Trillian is the result of constant pressure by SAFTU and the good work of honest AFU lawyers and investigators. It is the beginning of the closing of the net.. but it is not evidence of Shaun Abrahams’ work. It occurred despite him.
The time has come for him to leave the NPA in the hands of dedicated and uncaptured souls.
We now urge the AFU to proceed with haste against the other criminals who partook in the feeding frenzy at SoEs. We stand ready to mobilize in their protection should any captured state official get in their way.
Our lawyers are however on stand-by to step in should this process be unduly delayed. The net must now close and the state be dredged clean of the old order.
As SAFTU promised at its launching Congress, South Africa’s political and labour market landscape will never be the same again.