By the end of this week, we’ll have a little more insight into which South African companies and individuals have been implicated in the monumental #PanamaPapers investigation. That’s according to the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR).
ANCIR’s network is made up of nine investigative newsrooms across Africa, plus its own resources and staff, and it was one of the international organisations which worked on sifting through data to compile the papers.
It took ANCIR eight months to work through the leaks, with new data being added until December 2015.
“As ANCIR started researching, it discovered data disclosing 40 years of service from Mossack Fonseca stretching from Uganda to Namibia to Sierra Leone,” the network said.
“ANCIR and its media partners’ investigations led to findings around Uganda’s missing taxes from oil revenue, a mega-infrastructure deal in Namibia connected to a FIFA-related entity, secrecy in Steinmetz’s diamond empire, and hidden players in Angola’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, to mention a few,” it added. A full list of stories released so far is available in its dedicated microsite, here.
“ANCIR’s involvement in the investigation of the Panama Papers was to look at the secrecy of the transactions taking place,” ANCIR managing editor, Amanda Potgieter said speaking to htxt.africa.
“While many of our stories don’t imply criminal activity – it allows for opaque dealings. Transparency in the judiciary, for instance, as demonstrated in our articles on Botswana and Kenya, is important to ensure justice is seen to be done,” she says.
So far, the only South African name that has been revealed in the preliminary #PanamaPapers report is that of Khulubuse Zuma, nephew of President Jacob Zuma – a man not unfamiliar with corruption scandals. But ANCIR says that there’s more revelations to come.
ANCIR will be releasing further information during the week, including data on South Africa, Kenya, Angola and more from Namibia. But it expects that this data will be used to check dodgy dealings of companies and politicians for quite some time.
“We are hoping to see many more stories develop from these leaks and create a culture of whistleblowing when undue diligence is noticed,” Potgieter says.
[Image – CC Public Domain]