Trillian chairman, Tokyo Sexwale has announced his resignation from the company’s board, following the release of an external investigation into allegation that the company and its director, Gupta business partner Salim Essa, have been involved in capturing the state.
At a press briefing on Thursday, Sexwale laid out the findings of the investigation carried out by Advocate Geoff Budlender, noting that it was incomplete as Trillian, Essa and other implicated individuals stonewalled attempts to get necessary information and statements.
The investigation was launched after an article was published by The Sunday Times, blowing the lid on alleged corrupt activities around Trillian Capital and its directors.
The company has been implicated in many of the Gupta family’s business dealings, including being linked to state-owned companies like Transnet and Eskom, and being paid for contracts worth hundreds of millions of rands, and not doing any work.
According to information received by the Sunday Times by a whistleblower, is has been claimed that Trillian executives knew of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s firing, and the appointment of Des van Rooyen to replace him, long before it was announced.
Sexwale said that he took immediate action – within 12 hours – of hearing the claims, and sought and external investigation because he wanted to approach it seriously.
According to the report released today:
- Trillian failed to make good on promises to investigate the claims against it;
- The company, and Essa, refused to hand over information relevant to the investigation;
- The company did not allow access to electronic devices to held determine the veracity of claims made against the company or its CEO or directors;
- There are strong links between Essa, Trillian, and the Gupta family, particularly when it comes to financial dealings.
Unfortunately, because Budlender has no authority to subpoena people or demand documents, his reach was limited in the investigation, hence it is incomplete.
Because of this, Sexwale renewed his call for the matter to be elevated and investigated further – renewing his call for the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture to be established to get to the bottom of things.
He said that Essa has refused to meet with him, and has also attempted to have him removed from the board. However, Sexwale said he made a promise to step down once Budlender’s report was released, and that time has come.
The businessman said that state capture was doing immense damage to South Africa and the ANC.
“This corruption of state capture related to a particular family. It is destroying my organisation (the ANC),” Sexwale said. “There is a policy conference starting tomorrow. It is destroying that.”
He said that the state has not been ‘captured’ so much as ‘handed over’.