Sun, 26 May 2019

Former SABC CEO James Aguma in SIU's crosshairs

13 Nov 2018, 03:37 GMT+10

The head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says that former acting SABC CEO James Aguma will be pursued for his role in entering the public broadcaster into an irregular contract.

SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi on Monday announced that the investigations entity had made inroads in a variety of state-owned entities of late.

He said an irregular contract between the SABC and Lornavision valued at more than R62m had been halted thanks to SIU work.

READ: SABC threatened with shutdown over retrenchment notice

Mothibi said a claim for damages suffered because of the irregular contract was underway against Lornavision and Aguma.

"If we are to turn the wheels of corruption in government, state-owned entities and, by extension, the corporate sector to a bind, the SIU and other corruption [and] crime-busting agencies in the criminal justice system have to work collaboratively [with professionalism] and speed."

Mothibi said the SIU had managed to set aside several irregular contracts between government and other entities.

He said that on Friday, November 9, the South Gauteng High Court set aside another contract between the SABC and Vision View Production valued at R52m.

NPA to play a role

Mothibi said the proceeds of corruption "dissipates swiftly through various scrupulous money-washing schemes".

The halting of many dodgy government contracts was a result of the SIU's new strategy to commit to the quality of investigations and a swift turnaround time, he added.

He said that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) would play a part in the unit's investigations.

"In all these matters we litigate on; where we discover that some criminal act has been committed; we refer these cases to the NPA for possible prosecution where possible."

Mothibi said corruption "on its own is a criminal activity".

"Society demands a South Africa free from corruption and by implication those found wanting, should be locked up in the Department of Correctional Services' centres."

He implored SIU officials to "work diligently without fear or favour in rooting out corruption whenever and wherever it rears out its ugly head".

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