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South African corruption investigator shot dead

A police officer barricades a crime scene

A South African accountant who investigated high-level corruption cases has been shot dead along with his son.

Cloete Murray, 50, was the liquidator of Bosasa, a company involved in numerous government contracting scandals.

He also worked as a liquidator for companies associated with the wealthy Gupta brothers, who deny allegations of bribery.

Police say they will look into whether there is a link between Mr Murray’s murder and these corruption investigations.

Mr Murray was shot by unknown gunmen on Saturday while driving in Johannesburg with his 28-year-old son Thomas, a legal adviser.

His son died at the scene while Mr Murray was taken to hospital and later died of his injuries, local media reported, citing a police spokesman.

The couple drove their white Toyota Prado to their home in Pretoria, South African media reported.

Mr. Murray’s job as court-appointed company liquidator was to examine the accounts of companies that had gone bankrupt, recover assets and report any crime.

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One such company was Bosasa, a government contractor specializing in prison services.

The landmark Zondo Commission on Corruption concluded that during Jacob Zuma’s nine-year presidency, from 2009 to 2018, the company had extensively bribed politicians and government officials to win government contracts.

Zuma refused to cooperate with the investigation, but denied allegations of corruption.

In 2018, current South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said he would repay a $35,000 (£27,300) donation from Bosasa.

An anti-corruption investigator found he had misled parliament about the donation, but that finding was rejected by the country’s Supreme Court.

Mr Ramaphosa has also faced other allegations of corruption, which he denies.

Bosasa voluntarily went bankrupt after banks closed their accounts.

Mr. Murray also worked as a liquidator for companies associated with the Gupta brothers. The Zondo Commission found that during Zuma’s presidency, the brothers – Ajay, Rajesh and Atul – tried to influence political and economic decisions in a process known as “state capture”.

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The Guptas moved from India to South Africa in 1993 and owned an extensive portfolio of companies that had lucrative contracts with South African government departments and state-owned companies.

South African authorities are currently working to extradite the Gupta brothers from the UAE, where they were arrested, to face trial.

They have denied allegations of paying financial bribes to win contracts.

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