The World Bank has confirmed that they will investigate any misuse of possible loans surrounding the controversial Hitachi contract for the Medupi power plant.
This comes after DA leader Mmusi Maimane wrote a loaded letter to the Integrity Vice President of The World Bank, Leornard McCarthy, requesting a full investigation into the involvement of Chancellor House – the ANC’s investment arm – in the Hitachi contract.
The World Bank senior spokesperson in Southern Africa, Zandile Ratshitanga told News24 that The World Bank did not finance the Hitachi contract for the Medupi power plant because financing had already been available from other lenders.
“For projects financed by the World Bank Group we have an Integrity Vice Presidency that investigates allegations of fraud and corruption but that would apply only to project components that we have financed. The World Bank takes all allegations of fraud and corruption very seriously. Although the Hitachi contract was not financed by the World Bank, our Integrity Vice Presidency is assessing the matter to see whether any World Bank funds were put at risk,” she said.
While addressing more than 200 DA members outside the gates of Chancellor House on Thursday, Maimane said he was pleased with the decision by The World Bank. He said he had written to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela also in relation to Chancellor House.
In September, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Hitachi had “inaccurately recorded improper payments” to the ANC in connection with contracts to build two multi-billion dollar power plants.
News24 previously reported that Hitachi was aware that Chancellor House was a funding vehicle for the ANC. The Commission’s complaint was filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Hitachi was charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
At the time, ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize said: “The ANC categorically states that the organisation was not involved, implicated nor approached to answer on anything relating to the charges brought against Hitachi.”