South Africa’s Public Protector launched a probe into three state-owned firms, following a leak of thousands of emails that appeared to detail corruption in the issuing of lucrative tenders.
The Public Protector’s office is investigating Eskom, Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), following media reports that more than 100,000 leaked emails show that the wealthy Gupta family and various ministers interfered with the issuing of high-value contracts, Reuters reported.
The investigation follows “The State Capture” report issued by the Public Protector in November, which alleged that businessmen Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta (who are brothers) had influenced the appointment of ministers.
President Jacob Zuma, too, has been accused of allowing the Gupta brothers undue influence on his government, with a deputy finance minister claiming that one of the brothers offering to make him the finance minister.
With Zuma drawing fire for the surprise ouster of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in March, the fresh controversy is deepening divisions in the African National Congress ahead of a December meeting where Zuma’s successor as party leader will be chosen.