FF Plus asks Japanese government and OECD to investigate Hitachi SA

2015-09-29
Adv Anton Alberts

Apart from a request to the Public Protector (PP) submitted today, to investigate the alleged corrupt relationship between Hitachi SA and the ANC, the FF Plus will also be asking the Japanese government and the OECD’s governing body to investigate these allegations, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on public enterprises says.

South Africa is a signatory to the OECD Convention which is aimed at combatting fraud in international business transactions by foreign officials in a country (OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions).

Adv. Alberts says the FF Plus will ask the Japanese government through its ambassador in South Africa to initiate criminal investigations and proceedings against Hitachi SA and its officials in terms of the obligations of the OECD Convention. The FF Plus will also request the Japanese government to force the South African government to similarly launch an investigation and proceedings against South Africans involved in the matter, in terms of the OECD Convention.

With regards to the complaint to the PP, the FF Plus requested the PP to investigate the possibility of Chancellor House being guilty of the new crime of “fronting” as contained in the new Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.

It will be done against the background of the damning comments of the American investment watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which regards Chancellor House Holdings as a “front” through which the ANC could make money from the contracts with the Japanese group Hitachi in South Africa.

The alleged corruption in the form of “improper payments” originated from contracts that the ANC’s investment arm, Chancellor House had received for work at the Medupi and Kusile power stations.

In another development, the FF Plus established that the OECD had released a damming report at the end of last year about South Africa’s unwillingness to act against international bribery and corruption and the finger is pointed directly at the ANC government.

The title of the report is: ‘Phase 3 Report on Implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in South-Africa’. The subheading reads: ‘Lack of enforcement jeopardises South Africa’s fight against foreign bribery; OECD concerned that political an economic considerations may be an influence’.

On page 9 of the report of 87 pages, it is stated, amongst others, (under the caption of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials):

‘Corruption remains a serious problem in South Africa. The country has experienced a number of high profile domestic corruption scandals, and corruption allegations have been linked to the highest levels in government.’

Also: ‘Corruption in public procurement tenders has been a particularly serious problem...’. It mentions that the Head of the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) had already reported to Parliament in 2011 about the fact that between R25 and R30 billion – approximately 20% of the country’s total annual procurement budget had been lost due to ‘corruption, incompetence and negligence’.

Adv. Alberts says it is clear that the world’s eyes are fast opening up about criminality in the ANC government which is visible everywhere now.

 

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