As yet, no-one has been criminally charged in any of the recent high-profile corporate disasters in SA, be it at Eskom or Steinhoff. The question is why. Lawyers have told the Financial Mail that the answer is simple: the authorities are simply not equipped to investigate large-scale economic crime. Consider the most high-profile bungle, which has thrown the ability of the state to prosecute commercial crime into sharp relief. Last month the Gupta family successfully argued in court that the freezing order on R180m as part of the alleged Estina dairy project "scam" ought to be overturned. Their argument was simple: state investigators had failed to prove their claims that Atul Gupta or any of the Gupta associates had directly received money from Estina’s account. The Guptas’ advocate, Mike Hellens SC, slammed the headline-grabbing Estina asset preservation order as a "national embarrassment" defined by "reckless incompetence" on the part of the state. The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU)...

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