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Advocate Budlender's Report Exposes Trillian's Alleged Role in State Capture Scandal

Published December 31, 2023
7 months ago

In an astounding cascade of revelations, Advocate Geoff Budlender has unveiled the incriminating intricacies of Trillian Capital Partners’ alleged involvement in state capture, an issue that has been gnawing at the fabric of South African governmental integrity. Appointed by Trillian's former chair, Tokyo Sexwale, Budlender's investigation sought to untangle the complex web of Trillian’s dealings, primarily its entwinement with 'state capture' allegations.

Trillian, alleged to be woven into the state capture narrative, is a group holding company possessing significant shareholdings across various sectors. Most notably, it is 60% owned by Salim Essa, a businessman with reportedly close ties to the contentious Gupta family, as highlighted in Budlender's report. This connection has raised eyebrows and fuelled concerns about the integrity of the firm's operations.

In what appears to be a relentless pursuit of fact-finding, Budlender faced considerable resistance from Trillian, which allegedly tried to obstruct the investigation by withholding crucial information. Despite these challenges, the report brought to light concerns regarding Trillian's associations and conduct across multiple fronts—ranging from energy conglomerate Eskom to logistics giant Transnet and even regarding the controversial practices at Optimum Coal Mine.

The dossier's implications don't end with corporate dealings; they extend to tumultuous political decisions, including the dismissal of Finance Minister Nene in December 2015, which rocked the economy and was speculated to have connections with these powerful corporate networks.

Upon the release of the report during a media briefing at Trillian’s modern Melrose Arch office—a spectacle that saw a multitude of media representatives piecing together the unfolding narrative—Tokyo Sexwale announced his resignation. This dramatic exit further punctuated the gravity of the findings laid bare.

Trillian promptly responded with a statement expressing discontent with the process, claiming the company had not been granted an adequate opportunity to response before the release of the report. The company’s statement indicated that, despite not being able to review the report in advance, they would address the allegations that they suggested were largely unfounded.

Nevertheless, the public awaits Trillian’s “comprehensive response” to fully understand the veracity of the claims and their intentions henceforth. As with most cases of this magnitude, there's a broader narrative at play, and the citizens of South Africa will be keenly observing how the Trillian saga unfolds and what it reveals about the deep-rooted issues of governance, accountability, and corporate integrity within their nation.

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