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Civil and private sector to sue Zuma and others

Legal proceedings initiated to recover money corruptly received. Read the statement from Magda Wierzycka.

The Helen Suzman Foundation, supported by Magda Wierzycka, has initiated legal proceedings against Eskom, Jacob Zuma as president of South Africa, the Gupta family, Duduzane Zuma and others in a bid to recover R5 billion in illicit expenditure. Below follows a statement written by Wierzycka in her personal capacity, explaining the rationale behind the action.

  1. The facts surrounding mismanagement and corruption at Eskom are of paramount public interest and constitutional significance, and involve the rule of law at its most fundamental level.  This mismanagement and corruption affect each and every South African at the very basic level, with electricity tariffs increasing by 350% over the past decade by a state-owned enterprise (SOE) which supplies, as a monopoly, a crucial commodity to the country’s economy.  Eskom’s 2018/19 tariff increase application for an average of a further 19.9% (but 27.5% to municipalities), is currently being considered by the energy regulator. 
  2. In the absence of action by the relevant organs of state and law enforcement agencies to address the clear evidence of corruption and maladministration at Eskom, the Helen Suzman Foundation and Magda Wierzycka have today jointly approached the High Court in Pretoria, to set aside a series of unlawful, improper and/or corrupt exercises of public power and to recover all of the proceeds of this activity, totalling several billion Rand, for the benefit of the South African fiscus. 
  3. Relief is also sought for the failure to report these instances of corruption, as required under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004.  Such acts of corruption have to be reported to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (commonly referred to as “the Hawks”) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for action through the criminal justice system.  Finally, the application seeks that the respondents, including members of the National Executive, Eskom officials and the Gupta family and businesses, account fully and properly to Court for all funds or other benefits which have accrued to them or others as a result of the unlawful and corrupt conduct set out in the application, and to pay all amounts unlawfully obtained to Eskom or the State.
  4. State capture is a real and pressing threat to South Africa’s democracy. Over the course of several years, officials at the highest echelons of state have been doing the bidding of a powerful family and its business associates, in disregard of their constitutional and other legal duties. Key officers of state have systematically been unlawfully removed from their positions and replaced by persons who owe their allegiance to the Gupta family and its business interests. The Gupta family has developed extensive links with the President of the Republic, several of his family members, members of the National Executive and national administration, and a multitude of officials at SOEs.
  5. The evidence of state capture is most clearly evident in SOEs, and in particular the largest SOE, Eskom.  Following on from the Public Protector’s report into state capture (released at the end of 2016), the emerging evidence in the public domain shows that certain SOEs have been and are being repurposed to serve the private interests of a small powerful elite.  This deepening corrosive culture of corruption within the state, with an evident focus on illegitimate private wealth accumulation, shows a complete disregard, not only of individual constitutional duties, but also the economic prosperity of South Africans. 
  6. The leaked Gupta emails and documents, which have been published in South Africa in recent months, have revealed clear evidence of unlawful, improper and corrupt activities by a state capture network which includes numerous government officials, many of whom hold high ranking positions.  This is particularly alarming in light of the critical importance of South Africa’s state institutions, including that of its SOEs, to the elimination of poverty, inequality and discrimination and to development and transformation. 
  7. We believe that facts surrounding the capture of Eskom by the Gupta family and their political associates represent a classic case of state capture and corruption. Benefits and payments in the order of billions of Rand have unlawfully accrued to benefit the Gupta family and its associates from 2014 to date.
  8. Parties against whom relief is sought include, amongst others, Eskom, President Jacob Zuma, Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, the Director General of Public Enterprises (Mogokare Seleke), Duduzane Zuma, Gupta family members and their businesses and associates, and former members of the Eskom Board, including Mark Pamensky, Anoj Singh, Brian Molefe and Ben Ngubane.
  9. The unlawful and corrupt conduct to which the application relates, includes:

    9.1 The decisions by Eskom, its Board and its officials, to award Gupta-related entities, including Tegeta Exploration and Resources (Pty) Ltd (“Tegeta”), coal supply and emergency coal supply agreements worth billions of Rand without just and proper cause, any procurement process and with the unlawful objective of benefitting the Gupta family and its businesses;

    9.2 The unlawful and corrupt conduct by Eskom’s officials, Mr Seleke, Minister Zwane and the Gupta family and associates in forcing the sale of Optimum Coal Holdings (Pty) Ltd and its subsidiaries (“Optimum”) to Tegeta;

    9.3 The issuing of guarantees and making of prepayments worth billions of Rand unlawfully and corruptly to benefit the Gupta family and its business interests, including the financing of the purchase of Optimum by Tegeta;

    9.4 The unlawful and corrupt conclusion of sponsorship agreements worth over R43 million between Gupta’s TNA Media (Pty) Ltd and Eskom;

    9.5 the corrupt and unlawful gratification, including appointments, payments and other benefits given to various public officials, including Minister Zwane, Mr Collin Matjila, Mr Anoj Singh and Mr Mark Pamensky; and

    9.6 the unlawful appointments of Mr Seleke as the Director General of the Department of Public Enterprises and Mr Zwane as the Minister of Mineral Resources.

  10. We are seeking, in the public interest, the recovery of all unlawfully obtained benefits which resulted from corrupt and unlawful conduct. To the extent that the information about illicit benefits is incomplete, we ask the Court to order a full and proper accounting to be delivered by all relevant parties.
  11. This application intends to hold all those responsible for corruption to account, in accordance with the Constitution and the rule of law.  Civil society has been forced to take these steps in the public interest as a result of the inability or unwillingness of law enforcement agencies to take any action.


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..and nothing will happen because we have the world’s most spineless judges

That is not true. We have some great Judges and others that are not that great. The issue is the peed of the judicial system. It is so slow that it can almost be considered retarded.

I disagree we have several outstanding judges.

The problem that the public has faced are things such as Shaun the Sheep who the judges have just ruled should bugger off.

I think that these cases will have a very good chance of succeeding.

But then he might declare a state of emergency over his suing.

John Eccles’ comment looks like a Trump Tweet – baseless and not thought through. “…the world’s most..” is classic Trump. The evidence clearly shows that South African judges have had the courage to make the appropriate judgements.


Our judiciary is the last man standing. Look at their recent decisions. ANC up in arms. John I can’t agree with you.

yes, the problem lies within the system.

I don’t think that is fair – I have the utmost gratitude to our judges giving fearless ruling despite death threats and the like. They don’t have extra security costing millions paid for by the state like certain others I could mention.

Well – let’s hope THIS application actually achieves a positive result because so far every ruling has been met by a shrewdly structured appeal and not a single order of either the High Court or the Constitutional Court has apparently been successfully processed. As we all know, the NPA appears to be in zuma’s pocket (so to speak) and either “sits” on court orders or simply grants zuma extended periods within which to react.

Wishing Magda & the HSF best of success! 🙂 (..having said that, I hope their legal team realise that ‘adequate proof’ of such allegations, cannot consist merely of a pile of newspaper/media articles from various sources collected over the past few years. Usually concrete documentary proof is needed, right(?)

…and if they lose the case with costs, at least Magda can write off her portion of the costs in the books of SYGNIA, under “marketing/PR” expenses incurred in the production of business income…

IF they DO win it…bigger dilemma awaits: once the R5-billion is “recovered”, now WHERETO will it be paid over to?? (..hopefully not back to the State with the same leaders in control, holding the keys to the till? )

So far lawyers and their ilk have been laughing all the way to the bank.

Somebody is likely to have an “accident” over this. Be wary you brace people.

I say that when you control the judiciary YOU CONTROL THE COUNTRY! So when I saw Zupta announce Mogoeng Mogoeng as chief justice , I thought all was lost. BUT he has stepped up and now this other judge saying Zupta must pay from his pocket has set a GREAT precedent!! Just like Trump is draining the swamp there may be some corrupt allegiances BUT these 2 are 100% South Africa !!!!!!

Yup, I thought the same of Thomas Mogoeng. I was dead wrong big time and I admit it freely. He has stepped up to the plate big time and then some. As long as we have a free press and the judiciary is independent the Zumas Guptas and Joostes are buggered. Keep on trucking SA, there is still hope. Go Jaques Pauw, you must have a brass pair.

Well let’s hope for much more concise action than the so called parliamentary standing committee sleep/talk shop, with no outcome, no consequences just a waste of everybody’s time and resources!

We have top judges, the problem is when the judgement is handed down it is toilet paper for the parties concerned. If the chief thief does not even listen to the con court why should any of the others listen to any other court. He set the bar.

As for all the lawyers, just drooling at the mouth, coining it getting no results and smiling all the way to the banks. After the accounting profession if we can call it a profession the lawyers must be investigated.

Please could you refer me to an electronic copy of the Legal documents filed, particularly the founding and supporting affidavits; I want to see the nexus relied upon in this action/application

I applaud this venture by the brave to step up to seek redress and to remedy grave ills perpetrated by the corrupt in the face of the abject failure by those who are supposed to protect this country. And no, John Eccles, the courts and most judges (save for one or two painful exceptions) have proved over and over again that they are our last bulwark against these excesses and depravities.

i cant believe i have watsted my good 15 minutes going through this bull rubbish..this is juss a waste of time and tax payers money. Im not going to waste any more of my precious time commenting on this hogwash.

Why did you leave a comment if you say it’s a waste of your time?

Why comment if you do not comprehend Basic Economics or Finance?
and cannot write proper English?

Well done. I believe that this initive is fully justified and a credit to those members of our Civil Society who can no longer sit by and watch our economy implode through the illegal actions of certain parties. The biggest losers are those least capable of defending themselves – the general public of all races.
As a member of the general public and a tax paying South African, I fully support this in any way possible.
Thank you for your courage and perseverance.

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