Gordhan welcomes SIU probe into allegations of corruption at Alexkor
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan on Friday welcomed a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe into allegations of corruption at Alexkor, the state’s diamond mining company.
SIU investigators, with the assistance of the Hawks, raided the offices of Alexander Bay Diamonds in Johannesburg on Thursday for information and evidence that would assist its investigation.
On Wednesday, the Johannesburg magistrate's court granted the SIU a warrant to conduct a search and seizure on the premises of Alexander Bay Diamonds, previously known as Scarlet Sky Investments 60, and related companies.
The SIU was authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa, under proclamation number R45 of 2021, to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in respect of marketing, valuation, sale and beneficiation of diamonds, pursuant to agreements concluded between Alexkor and service providers.
Alexander Bay was appointed by Alexkor in 2015, as an external service provider, to perform marketing, valuation, sales and beneficiation.
The company was allegedly appointed to improve the sales of diamonds, as Alexkor believed that the diamonds were sold about 30% below their market value.
The SIU said the circumstances and procurement process followed that led to the appointment of Alexander Bay are subject to its investigation.
“We welcome the efforts of the SIU and other law enforcement authorities and their investigations of Alexkor-related corruption.
“South Africans want to see the architects and associates of state capture and corruption behind bars. The raids are a strong signal that their days are numbered,” Gordhan said.
The ministry said Alexkor was badly damaged by state capture and corruption.
It said as a result, the proceeds of the diamonds sales which formed part of the pooling and sharing joint venture have not benefited the Richtersveld communities as anticipated.
The ministry said the commission of inquiry into state capture, in its reports, also recommended that law enforcement agencies investigate these allegations with a view to prosecute all those entities and officials that unlawfully benefited from the marketing, valuation and sale of diamonds.
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