Stunning details has surfaced involving public protector advocate Busisiwe Nkwebane
A report by a global anti-corruption journalism organisation has revealed that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane received a $5000 (roughly R70 000) payment linked to a broader network involving the Gupta family, in 2014.
The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) reported on Tuesday the payment to Mkhwebane was flagged by multi-national bank HSBC as part of the bank’s broader internal investigation into Gupta linked entities.
There is no indication of wrongdoing by Mkhwebane, but the payment is part of thousands of transactions the bank noticed as part of a broader investigation into kickbacks from China North Rail (CNR), that was awarded large tranches of the infamous R50bn 1064 locomotive deal by Transnet.
Investigative journalism unit amaBhungane previously reported that a Gupta-linked firm was paid R674m in apparent kickbacks by CNR.
According to the OCCRP report, the funds were paid from an account of an HSBC subsidiary in Hong Kong directly into Mkhwebane’s First National Bank account in South Africa in June 2014, at the height of the Gupta’s state capture reign.
Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe is quoted as denying that Mkhwebane has any links to the Gupta family, and further denying that any funds were paid into her account over that time period.
The payment occurred shortly before Mkhwebane returned from China, where she worked at the SA embassy as the National Immigration Services’ country director of information and cooperative management, according to her CV, between 2010 and July 2014.
“The flag on Mkhwebane’s transaction was part of a highly restricted internal HSBC investigation that sought to identify a network of Gupta-linked accounts and companies around the world,” OCCRP reported.
“The network’s key accounts and companies were located in Hong Kong, a tax haven that has been known for providing financial secrecy for foreign clients,” OCCRP reported.
More revealing details underway