South Africa

Extradition of Manuel Chang, Mozambique's former Finance Minister

Manuel Chang, Mozambique's former Finance Minister, was arrested at Johannesburg airport in South Africa on 29 December 2018 on a US extradition request. The US stated that "Manuel Chang is accused of carrying out a $2 billion (almost R28bn) fraud and money laundering scheme that took advantage of the US financial system and defrauded US investors. It is because of Chang's alleged involvement in these financial crimes that the United States sought Mr. Chang’s arrest and extradition". Mozambican Parliament on 29 January 2019 lifted the immunity of the former Minister of Finance and he was denied bail in South Africa in February 2019The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha, in 21 May 2019 announced his decision to extradite Manuel Chang to his home country, Mozambique instead of the US. The US Embassy in Pretoria stated the following in response "[t]he US embassy in Pretoria notes with great disappointment the media statement issued by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services indicating that the Republic of South Africa, despite having received our formal extradition request before that of the Republic of Mozambique." However, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services stated that he noted the request by the US was submitted a few weeks before Mozambique's and considered the matter in its full context. Masutha said he was satisfied that the interest of justice would be best served by acceding to the request of the Mozambique government.

State-owned freight and rail transport company – loss in the billions

The Justice Raymond Zondo's State Capture Inquiry heard on 5 June 2019 how a freight and rail company lost billions of rand when it decided to hedge its R12billion loan and R11.3bn in debt to benefit a Gupta-linked company. Multipurpose Business Solutions’ Dr Jonathan Bloom told the commission headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that the company performed the R12bn swops in two tranches - R4.5bn in December 2015 and the remaining R7.5bn in March 2016. According to Bloom, who was contracted to be part of the multidisciplinary team investigating the alleged malfeasance, the projected total loss in the entire exercise of changing the interest rates for the R4.5bn from floating to fixed is more than R1.8bn. The interest rates for the R4.5bn portion of the loan were fixed for 15 years at 11.83%, which Bloom said was substantially and abnormally high. Bloom said Gupta-linked company Regiments Capital was the executing agent in the transaction but that it was not necessary for an external party to be involved. In every swop transaction, Bloom said, Regiments would be paid and its payment was included in the rate the firm was charged. The R7.5bn swop was at 12.27% interest rates from floating to fixed and Regiments was paid fees for executing the transaction. Bloom described the swop transactions on a floating rate and changing into fixed rate as questionable and said the hedging transactions were also dubious and fees and costs were excessive.

The company is in the process of recovering billions lost by its directors and companies which benefited from irregularly awarded contracts, Chairperson Popo Molefe said in his testimony before Justice Raymond Zondo's State Capture Inquiry on Tuesday, 7 May 2019. The company is working with law enforcement agencies such as the Hawks and other central banks including the SA Reserve Banks to recover monies as they have the capabilities to track funds outside SA's borders.