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Why Shaun blinked after court threat on Gupta action

Veteran unionist Vavi's 'clever manoeuvre' behind this week's drama

21 January 2018 - 00:02 By THANDUXOLO JIKA, MZILIKAZI wa AFRIKA and QAANITAH HUNTER

NPA boss Shaun Abrahams only agreed to pursue the Guptas and their business associates when threatened with court action late last year.
It has emerged that repeated requests from the Asset Forfeiture Unit for Abrahams to act on the family were ignored until his own staff threatened to take him to court.
The AFU itself was given an ultimatum by the South African Federation of Trade Unions to expedite legal proceedings on state capture or face litigation.
Following the push by Saftu, Abrahams agreed last month that the AFU should seek preservation orders against Gupta associates Trillian Capital and international consulting firm McKinsey for the recovery of R1.59-billion.
Saftu is the trade union group formed last year when Zwelinzima Vavi split from Cosatu. Vavi is Saftu's general-secretary.This week the AFU executed two preservations orders, one against McKinsey and Trillian and the other against the Guptas and their companies.
"They [Saftu] manoeuvred very cleverly to leave the NPA with few options," said a senior NPA official with close knowledge of the matter. "Essentially they prepared their own AFU case which they threatened to take to court if the NPA refused to do it. The boss [Abrahams] was very unhappy but could not manoeuvre out of it."
The preservation orders were authorised by a court on December 15.
"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," said Vavi.
"It is the beginning of the closing of the net, but it is not evidence of Shaun Abrahams's work ... It is well known that Shaun Abrahams has been blocking this."
Another senior official with knowledge of the state capture investigations said Abrahams had asked the AFU to hold off on executing the preservation orders until after the ANC's elective conference, which was held in mid-December...

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