The story we publish today in our view contains all the evidence needed to sustain a prima facie case of money laundering.
This is a crime that involves concealing the origins of illicit benefits to make them appear legitimate.
In this single example, R17,1 million flowed to the Gupta family’s TNA Media, supposedly for advertising.
In reality it appears the amount was a 10% kickback payment on behalf of communications giant Neotel to the Guptas for ensuring that Neotel got a fat Transnet contract.
The payment was made by Neotel’s sub-contractor Techpro to financial advisory firm Regiments Capital, which in turn paid TNA Media.
The invoices justifying the payments appear to have been bogus.
Two people orchestrated this apparent fraud.
They were Eric Wood — a Regiments director who later split from the company because his co-directors refused to sell Regiments to the Guptas — and Ashok Narayan, a former Gupta-company manager who was procuring the payments to TNA Media more than a year after he supposedly left the Guptas’ employ.
In a country with a functioning criminal justice system, one would expect that the police would have already opened a case against Wood and Narayan.
They would be preparing an application in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca) to secure the assets of TNA Media and seeing who else they could pull in via Poca’s very wide racketeering net.
The fact that this prospect is laughable under the present leadership of the Hawks is down to one man: President Jacob Zuma.
What this story does is significantly buttress the allegation that Zuma is at the centre of what is essentially a criminal enterprise, a racketeering conspiracy that is the dark heart of the “state capture” narrative.
To begin with, Zuma has always treated influence peddling as a perk of office. That much was established during the Shaik trial, where there was evidence led of multiple occasions where Zuma lent his name or his appearance to boost Shaik’s business.