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Corruption Watch: Fast track criminal probes into state capture at SOEs

A judicial commission of inquiry has been appointed to probe state capture at state entities and the Special Investigating Unit has been ordered to probe maladministration at Eskom and Transnet.

FILE: Eskom's offices at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Corruption Watch wants criminal investigations into state capture at SOEs fast tracked.

The group is concerned that inquiries into maladministration at state-owned companies could be used as a reason to delay criminal investigations.

A judicial commission of inquiry has been appointed to probe state capture at state entities and the Special Investigating Unit has been ordered to probe maladministration at Eskom and Transnet.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan will be delivering his department’s budget in Parliament on Tuesday, where he is expected to outline key measures being taken to root out corruption that has gripped major state entities, in particular Eskom.

Government sees state-owned companies as crucial to creating jobs and driving economic growth.

But in reality, they are a major drain on state coffers.

Corruption Watch says that while inquiries into maladministration at SOEs could be fruitful, there are clear cases of criminality at Eskom, Transnet and Denel.

Executive director David Lewis says these should be acted on immediately.

"In particular, the Gupta emails and other revelations have produced enough prima facie evidence to justify several criminal investigations and that should proceed no matter how the Zondo commission or the SIU inquiry unfolds."

Lewis says that the key to rooting out corruption, will be to improve governance at SOEs.