South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) otherwise known as the HAWKS has begun work on the controversial Gupta emails that exposed a number of government officials to the wealthy family.
The Hawks head Yolisa Matakata confirmed this in an interview with the enCA where he said that the controversies raised by the information in the emails leave the unit with no choice but to investigate.
She said though the investigative body has access only to a few of the leaked documents, instead of the hundreds of thousands available to the media houses, the Hawks will continue the investigations even as it has been probing charges linked to specific media reports, which are linked to some of the emails
“With us getting that kind of information, we have to work with it. And therefore it’s through this work that we are doing, where you need to go to the various alleged departments involved or SOEs or whoever else is involved to start verifying by getting original information,” said Matakata.
“We’ve never seen the actual emails that reference is made of in the emails but we have information that speaks to some of these emails.”
The controversial Gupta email which raised further questions about the dept of state capture in the country revealed how the Gupta family influenced the decision makings in the Zuma-led government. It also
It also exposed some officials in the Presidency who were offered gifts and business deals by the Guptas.
Despite confirmation from a host of individuals implicated or named in the leaked emails that the documents are indeed legitimate, the middle Gupta brother insisted that the leaks are not authentic.
“First, let’s stop [referring to] Gupta leaks, there is no authenticity of Gupta leaks at all. They are everyday perception mongering to drive their own agenda,” said Athul Gupta.
President Jacob Zuma has also been urged to establish a committee of enquiry into the state capture in order to confirm how far government officials have been influenced. So far, Zuma is yet to establish the committee.
Mataka, however, said it was not easy for the Hawks to investigate with the public expecting them to fail.
“It’s not easy to operate within this perception that we are captured…Hence we are really making an effort to show that, at the end, people might be taken to court,” she said.
“If we go to court just by mere allegations that come to us, again we’ll be embarrassed because the cases will be thrown out of court.”
Meanwhile, the Gupta family is finding it hard to protect its interests in the mining sector as workers employed by the family are still on strike action, while the Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, an alleged ally of the family, is facing a court action for his newly announced policy.
Workers employed at Gupta-owned Optimum Coal in Mpumalanga went on strike last week after the company failed to pay their September salary on time.
We are disturbed by the situation. Workers were told that, with the banks closing the accounts, some payments were late,” said Goodwill Mthombeni chairperson of the National Union of Mineworkers at Optimum “Even if there is a political war it shouldn’t affect the employees, ” he said.