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South Africa’s PetroSA Investigated by Anti-Corruption Cops

South Africa’s anti-corruption police unit, known as the Hawks, is investigating PetroSA, the national oil company.

“The Hawks are investigating PetroSA,” Captain Paul Ramaloko, a spokesman for the elite unit, said today by phone. He declined to comment further.

Managers at PetroSA ordered irregular payments of 200 million rand ($21.8 million) and risked an additional 800 million rand in potential liabilities, the Johannesburg-based Mail & Guardian reported, citing interviews, documents and police affidavits.

The allegations against PetroSA surround the acquisition of Sabre Oil & Gas Holdings Ltd. for its acreage in Ghana and a plan to buy gas stations in South Africa, according to the report.

“I am not aware of any investigation by the Hawks at all,” Kaizer Nyatsumba, PetroSA’s head of corporate affairs, said in a phone interview. “There has been concerns raised with the board” regarding procurement matters, he said.

The board has commissioned a review of audits, the company said in a subsequent statement.

“In the process of increasing PetroSA’s chances of successfully closing these deals,” some deviations from normal procurement processes occurred, the company said, referring to the acquisition of Sabre Oil.

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