Yadhana Jadoo
2 minute read
26 Jul 2017
5:05 am

Outa’s cases against corrupt officials are doing ‘what the state won’t’

Yadhana Jadoo

The group is waiting for the day when a new leader in SA develops an appetite to clean house.

Wayne Duvenage of Outa, in his Randburg office, speaks to The Citizen about the NGO’s wider, revamped role. Pictures: Tracy Lee Stark

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) remains steadfast on launching cases against alleged corrupt officials, which it says will eventually lead to people being brought to book.

Outa, which morphed from the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance against e-tolls to a manifold non-profit entity against large-scale tax abuse, will still continue to conduct its own investigations to assist police, its chairperson Wayne Duvenhage said.

This follows a string of its own probes into corruption, state capture and most recently the treason, corruption, extortion, fraud and theft charges it laid against Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.

“Our role and our strategy is multifaceted,” Duvenage said.

“Because there is manipulation of the system, does that mean you stop submitting your cases or complaints? And the short answer is no. We often get asked if this is just a futile exercise and aren’t you wasting time?

“The reason why it’s not a waste of time is because the manipulation isn’t going to be there all the time.

“Let’s say Jacob Zuma goes in six months or a year later and Cyril Ramaphosa is in, and he says ‘right, I am going to put people in place in the NPA and Hawks to do their job without fear or favour’?”

When that happens these cases which have already been “well-researched and well-documented with substantive evidence are already in place”, he added.

“The problem is that if you don’t do them now, and only in a year’s time, and you come running with 20 cases, then you get accused of going on a witch-hunt.

“The whistle-blowers would have moved on and your evidence needs to be gathered again and you are under time pressures. The work then becomes a little haphazard.

“So we believe that, as we get the evidence, we build up the cases strongly, and our legal heads are signed off.

“In fact, every single case, when we lay them, it’s not just a two-page affidavit, it’s a file of evidence. “We do the work for the police and the investigation is clean.”

Duvenage claimed Outa was laying a number of charges every single week, not just on state capture, but the state of the country in all areas including state-owned entities.

He added that with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula admitting that officials needed to work with civil society, Outa “was thus giving him the evidence and the facts”.

“If he wants to engage with us, he can, because the documentation is there.”

With, for example, SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane saying that “headlines” cannot be acted on, but rather on facts and evidence, Outa’s investigations presented what was needed, claimed Duvenage.

“We give them no room to hide, no place to look away and say this is all hearsay, sensationalism or headlines.” – yadhanaj@citizen.co.za