SUNDAY TIMES - Hawks confirm Guptas probe‚ but will keep mum on the matter
Sunday Times News By Tmg Digital, 2016-03-24 10:01:03.0

Hawks confirm Guptas probe‚ but will keep mum on the matter

Indian businessmen Ajay and Atul Gupta, and Sahara director, Duduzane Zuma at the New Age Newspaper's offices in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa on 4 March 2011.
Image: Gallo Images/City Press/Muntu Vilakazi

The Hawks on Thursday appealed to “members of the public and the media alike to give us space to conduct our investigations” into complaints laid by the Democratic Alliance (DA) “against the Guptas and others”.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) released a statement confirming that it has received two complaints from the party laid in Cape Town and Gauteng.

“The Hawks are mandated by law to investigate anyone without fear‚ favour or prejudice”‚ the statement said‚ before adding: “We therefore appeal to the members of the public and the media alike to give us space to conduct our investigations without undue interference.

“We also urge those who are allegedly involved in the matter to cooperate with our investigators so that the investigations can be expedited.”

The Hawks statement concluded by saying: “No further comments will be made on the matter.”

The confirmation comes two days after the DA’s David Maynier said that he had received notification that the South African Police Service had “allocated a case number” and “transferred the case for further investigation to the anti-corruption unit within the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation”.

The charges were laid against the trio last Thursday‚ a day after deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas confirmed reports that he had been offered the top post in the ministry by members of the politically connected Gupta family.

The charges were laid under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act in Cape Town.

Maynier said he had written to Jonas “urging him to prepare a sworn statement‚ in the form of a signed affidavit‚ setting out all the details concerning the alleged meeting”.

The details‚ said the DA MP‚ “should include at least:

- “The names of the persons present at the alleged meeting;

- “The names of the person or persons who allegedly made the offer;

- “The venue‚ date and time of the alleged meeting;

- “Whether the alleged offer was conditional on support for the Nuclear Build Programme and/or purging National Treasury officials; and

- “The name of the business person who allegedly arranged the meeting.”

Maynier also said that Jonas should also “make the affidavit available to the public”.

“The allegations made by the deputy minister are very serious and amount to prima facie evidence of corruption and should be reported to the South African Police Service‚ not to African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe who is clearly trying to politically manage and contain the political fallout from ‘Zuptagate’‚” Maynier said.

Mantashe had last week called for anyone with information about allegations of the Guptas political meddling to come forward.