Gold trail

South Africa probes ‘Gold Mafia’: Another wild goose chase?

By Ray Mwareya

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Posted on May 23, 2023 09:53

 © File photo of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
File photo of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

South Africa is set to probe allegations that the infamous ‘Gold Mafia’ in Al Jazeera’s documentary used domestic banks to launder money, but observers believe the country’s woefully inept prosecutors won’t get the job done.

“It’s laughable to think South Africa’s Hawks (police investigators) can prosecute sophisticated money launderers that have tentacles stretching from Johannesburg to Mauritius to Switzerland to Dubai,” analyst Yasin Kakande, who has lived in the United Arab Emirates and has had brushes with its courts, tells The Africa Report.

‘Sensitive’ probe

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa allayed concerns this week when he told parliament that authorities are launching an investigation into claims that the so-called Gold Mafia bribed key employees in South Africa’s major banks in order to turn a blind eye as they exported illicit money out of South Africa.

“We are committed to preserving the integrity of our financial system in the interests of the broader economy and ordinary citizens,” Ramaphosa told lawmakers on Thursday, adding that the sensitive probe is at “inquiry stage”.

The Al

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