#BosasaGate: Ad Hoc Committee must consider Public Protector’s “Ramaphosa Report”

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes today’s release of the Public Protector’s report into President Ramaphosa’s dodgy dealings with Bosasa – a company that has spent the last 20 years bribing ANC politicians in order to secure lucrative government tenders and contracts.

In my initial complaint (attached here) to the Public Protector on 23 November 2018, I contended that in an oral question session in Parliament on 6 November 2018, President Ramaphosa deliberately misled the House about a suspicious R500 000 “donation” his CR17 campaign received from Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson, and that a clear conflict of interest exists between the President, his son Andile Ramaphosa, and Bosasa. This as his son subsequently secured lucrative contracts with Bosasa to the tune of at least R2 million.

The Public Protector has today found that President Ramaphosa did in fact deliberately misled Parliament in relation to this suspicious R500 000 “donation”. Put simply, Ramaphosa took dodgy money from Bosasa and lied to Parliament and to the people of South Africa about it.

In addition to this, the Public Protector found that at the time when this “donation” was received, Ramaphosa was still Deputy President. Therefore, as Member of Parliament he was duty bound to disclose this donation and failed to do so in contravention of the Executive Ethics Code. In April this year, I viewed the President’s declaration of interests at the Union Buildings. Neither this donation, nor the conflict of interest between himself, his son, and Bosasa was declared.

The Public Protector also found serious financial irregularities and “prima facie evidence of money laundering” to which she has tasked the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Adv Shamila Batohi to investigate further.

Lastly, the Public Protector has given the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, 30 days to demand that President Ramaphosa make public all donations to his CR17 campaign as he was Deputy President of the country at the time.

What is clear is that this matter runs much deeper than initially thought. The Public Protector has only scratched the surface as it pertains to President Ramaphosa, Bosasa, and his son Andile’s business interests. This matter requires further consideration, and Parliament’s full attention.

As the constitutional body empowered and mandated to maintain oversight over the Executive, Parliament must be at the forefront of this matter – as it was during the infamous Nkandla scandal.

In the absence of a Standing Committee on the Presidency, we contend that the most appropriate way forward is the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee to consider this report, its findings, and how to ensure the President and any other players are held to account.

We have today written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, in this regard, accompanied by the motion to be tabled before Parliament. This Ad Hoc Committee ought to:

  • Consider the report and its recommendations according to rule 253(3);
  • Summon the President, relevant officials and Ministers to account for the Bosasa scandal;
  • Deliberate and resolve to implement solutions to hold the President to account, and put recommendations forward to the National Assembly to consider; and
  • Move for urgent, necessary legislative amendments to existing legislation and regulations that deal with party funding.

In addition to this, we will be pursuing a range of additional avenues to hold the President and others to account.

Firstly, it appears that a criminal syndicate is being alluded to in the Public Protector’s report, and as such a criminal process must be pursued. The DA will be laying criminal charges of money laundering against Cyril Ramaphosa, the CR17 Campaign, and the attorneys trust account involved with the campaign. The report is replete with evidence to suggest Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign was marred with financial irregularities and possible money laundering.

This includes the Public Protector’s startling revelation whereby she alleges she is in possession of evidence indicating that “some of the money collected through the CR17 campaign trust account was also transferred into the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation account from where it was also transferred to other beneficiaries”.

While the Public Protector has tasked the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Adv Shamila Batohi to investigate this further, we will seek clarity on how the NPA will handle this matter, and whether it will be referred to the Hawks or the NPA’s new investigative directorate.

Secondly, in terms of the sanctions for misleading Parliament as contained in the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act, President Ramaphosa is liable to pay a fine, be imprisoned for a period of up to two years, or both. We will write to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, requesting that she lays a charge against the President in terms of this Act. It is her role as head of the National Assembly to ensure the President is held to account for committing an offence against Parliament.

Finally, if Mr Ramaphosa is duty bound to declare his financial benefits vis-à-vis his CR17 campaign, then it follows other presidential hopefuls, including Lindiwe Sisulu, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Baleka Mbete are required to do so as well. Therefore, the DA will pursue this matter in the Joint Ethics Committee in Parliament.

The Public Protector’s report finally shatters the myth of a “good ANC” and a “bad ANC”. There is only one ANC – corrupt to the core and taking South Africa backwards.

Accountability must be pursued regardless of who is in office. The rule of law is sacrosanct, and if the President believes he is innocent he must exercise his right to take the report on review.

It is high time that Presidents, and their families’ who abuse their power for personal gain are treated as equal before the law and held to account for their actions.

DA MPs give their 67 minutes for Mandela Day

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen, spent his 67 minutes for Nelson Mandela Day cooking soup for the homeless with Ladles of Love. See video here and photos here, here, here and here. Ladles of Love is a community project dedicated to feeding those who are hungry, with soup kitchens across Cape Town and various other projects providing food to disadvantaged schools, students and communities.

Further, the DA’s members of Parliament in the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces collected and donated goods for The Homestead. See photos here, and here. The Homestead has various projects aimed at providing for the needs of street children, including a drop-in centre and shelters in Khayelitsha and Manenberg.

The DA believes that Nelson Mandela Day provides an opportunity for South Africans to come together in the spirit of ubuntu and reach out to make a difference in each others’ lives.

If Madiba could change one thing today, it would be our education system

Fellow South Africans

I have just spent part of my morning, on Nelson Mandela Day, reading to the young learners at Bergsig Primary in Bonteheuwel. And what I saw at the school filled me with hope. The leadership at this school is an inspiration to others, and an example of what can be achieved when teachers are 100% committed to the learners in their care.

This simple act of reading to young children is one of the most important things we can do for them. Because this is how we set them up with a love for reading and an interest in books of all kinds. This is how we prepare this generation for the future. Readers are leaders, and leaders are readers.

As we pause today to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela and the enormous contribution he made to our society and our democracy, let us also consider the issues he felt strongly about. Let us reflect on the progress we have made on these issues, and where we are still lagging behind.

One of the issues that mattered most to Madiba was educating our children. We all know how he felt about education, and how he considered this to be “the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”.

But it is a weapon we have not deployed in South Africa. It is fair to say that we have failed, in every possible way, to prepare our children for the future thanks to a basic education system that is considered among the poorest in the entire world. No matter how you look at it – whether you consider maths results, basic literacy, matric pass rates or school drop-out rates – ours is a shameful record that does not belong in a modern democracy.

South Africa consistently languishes near the bottom of every global maths and science ranking, half our learners drop out before writing their matric exams, and almost 80% of our children still can’t read with comprehension by the time they finish Grade 4. Every year we send hundreds of thousands of young South Africans out into the world with no skills and no hope.

There are many things we must do to heal our society and save our country, but surely the most important of these is setting our children off on a path in life that offers them a future worth pursuing. It is not too late to make the changes to our education system that will enable this, but then we are going to have to be bold and urgent in our actions.

We must start by loosening the grip that SADTU has over the majority of our failed schools. We cannot allow our children to fall victim to this union’s destructive actions. Schools must be places of learning and places of safety. We need our teachers and principals to be present, to be trained and to be motivated. We need their loyalty to be with their learners.

Then we need to bring back the specialised teacher training colleges and establish a national education inspectorate to ensure that our school facilities and staff are up to standard. We must benchmark our learners to international standards, and we must review our curriculum to make sure we are keeping up with a constantly-changing knowledge economy. This also means extending the curriculum for our young learners beyond reading and maths to include subjects such as coding, because that’s how we will prepare them for a modern, digital economy.

Let us also offer parents greater choice in where to send their children. Let us introduce charter schools, and convert struggling public schools to collaboration schools. Children should always have an option of quality education where they live, rather than having to commute far on taxis and buses in order to get to a decent school.

These are some of the interventions a DA national government would immediately implement, along with an improved school feeding programme in poor communities, an eradication of all pit latrines at schools and the provision of safe transport for all learners.

If we are serious about giving our children the best start in life, then we have to turn our Basic Education around as a matter of great urgency.

But fixing Basic Education and strengthening our schools is only part of what we need to do. As parents, we have a big responsibility too. What we do at home lays the foundation for our children’s future, as much as any school curriculum does.

If we want to produce a future generation with the skills and the confidence to change the world, then we have to start at home. We have to encourage our children to read. We have to encourage them in maths and science. We must be involved and interested, right from the beginning.

Read to your small children, every night. Make use of our wonderful libraries – they truly are a treasure. Raise your children curious and questioning. And when they grow older, remain involved. Help them with their homework, stay in contact with their teachers, encourage them in their studies.

Preparing our children for a fast-changing world is not a responsibility we can simply hand over to others. It will take all of society. It takes a village to raise a child.

Possible R6 billion budget cut for SAPS will cost lives

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply concerned that National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, has received a request from National Treasury that the South African Police Service (SAPS) cut their budget by R6 billion.

If true, this would be disastrous for SAPS, which is already grossly under-funded, under-resourced, under-staffed and under-equipped. Any further budget cuts will only worsen these conditions, leaving citizens to pay with their lives.

We will write to National Treasury to request that they urgently provide clarity on the matter of potential budget cuts for SAPS.

The fiscus is in deep trouble due to rampant corruption and low growth, but the answer to these problems should not be to cut funding to a critical department like SAPS, especially at a time when our communities have become war zones.

Budget shortfalls should be addressed by cutting Ministerial extravagance. National Treasury should begin by cutting VIP spending instead. As it stands, South Africans pay R10 million to protect just one VIP. Moreover, each of the 28 Ministers is allocated almost R4 million per year for 3 new vehicles.

Given our current state of crime, the DA proposes that an additional R2 billion be allocated towards fighting crime by:

  • Increasing IPID’s budget by R200 million; and,
  • Increasing Visible Police budget by R1.8 billion.

This is a budget neutral proposal which can be achieved within the current budget by reducing the budget for VIP Security by R2 billion.

The DA will continue to push for government to get their priorities right, cut extravagant expenditure and focus on keeping South Africans safe. Without an honest and professional police service, which is well resourced and well-capacitated, our citizens will undoubtedly pay for this decision with their blood.

The cut in the SAPS budget will undermine all efforts to keep the people of South Africa safe. The proposed cut will hand South Africa over to criminals.

South Africa needs a new economic consensus

The following speech was delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, during the Budget Vote Debate on the Presidency in Parliament. 

Madam Speaker

Honourable Members

Fellow South Africans

Bagaetsho

I would like to extend my condolences to the family of a truly great South African, Johnny Clegg, who left us yesterday.

His humanity and grace will live on forever through his incredible musical legacy. Lala ngoxolo, Johnny.

Tomorrow we will honour the birthday of another great South African and statesman when we celebrate Mandela Day.

We will remember the immense contribution this leader made to our country by uniting us around a shared vision, and by establishing our 1994 constitutional pact.

This pact confirmed that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. This was the beginning of a journey.

But today our 1994 consensus is no longer holding. More and more, people are retreating back into their corners of racial solidarity. And so we need to establish a new economic consensus that will lead us into a new era.

We need a Presidency that is able to deliver a shared vision of prosperity for all our citizens.

This will require leadership that is bold and accountable. It will require a vision for our country based on the values of freedom, fairness, opportunity and a diverse society.

It will require the kind of consensus that the DA is already building among South Africans: The pursuit of a common dream, the reconciliation of black and white, young and old. And the building of a prosperous nation. One South Africa for all.

If we don’t achieve this consensus – if we don’t focus on the “for all” part – it doesn’t matter whether it’s the 4th Industrial Revolution or the Green Economy, we will simply entrench the South Africa of insiders and outsiders.

We need to build a country where citizens are safe, where there is work for all, and where learners are prepared for the future. The role of the Presidency is to give us a government that works, and to make the tough decisions when required to do so.

And so, after an extended fight, the DA welcomes the deployment of the SANDF to communities under siege from gangsters and criminals.

It is now up to your office to inform this House, sooner rather than later, about the terms of this SANDF deployment.

And let us now demonstrate the same commitment to our rural communities. Let us show farmers and farm workers that they too deserve our protection. Let us take the war to the criminals everywhere.

Honourable Members,

If we are to achieve this new consensus for all South Africans, we will have to agree on three areas of reform: The first is around economic growth, the second is around fairness and inclusivity, and the third is the building of a capable state.

For starters, we all have to agree that meaningful economic growth is all that matters. And we need to get business, labour, government and every South African citizen behind this idea.

To achieve this we will need to make tough choices on everything from labour legislation and SOEs to policies on the NHI, the national minimum wage and the Reserve Bank.

If the buck does stop at your desk, Mr President, then it is you who will need to make those choices.

Let’s pass the Jobs Act as proposed by the DA. This Act covers many interventions that could stimulate our economy.

Let us streamline red tape for business owners, and let us revive sectors like manufacturing through tax incentives.

Let us deal decisively with our SOEs. Rather than bailing them out, let us split Eskom in two, let us bring in an equity partner for SAA and let us review the mandates of the other SOEs.

Mr President, city-led economic growth is the future of our country, and we need to do all we can to place our cities at the forefront of our growth strategy. It is then extremely concerning that, due to factional battles in your party, the city of eThekwini is falling apart and you have taken no action.

Regardless of how it gets resolved, our economy is suffering and we cannot sit idly by.

But, Honourable Members, a growing economy means little if all our people cannot participate in it. So how do we ensure inclusion and justice in this plan?

We cannot talk about inclusive growth and yet persist with narrow economic empowerment.

We must start by admitting that B-BBEE has not delivered economic inclusion. It is a fig leaf for redress and it does nothing for 99% of South Africa’s excluded citizens.

Scrap B-BBEE, Mr President, and replace it with a plan that offers real broad-based inclusion in our economy.

Apartheid’s devastating effect on black families was to destroy any chance of wealth accumulation and wealth transfer.

Today, the majority of South Africans remain poor because these issues were never addressed. If we want to talk about meaningful redress, this is where we must start.

Let’s build a new model for wealth transfer that includes property title, share ownership and pension savings.

Let us start by privatising tribal and government-owned land, and giving people title to this land. At the stroke of a pen, families will become property owners and the foundations for wealth transfer will be laid.

The protection of private property rights for all citizens is the bedrock of future prosperity for all.

Then, once we have stabilised and privatised our SOEs, let us disburse shares in these companies to South Africans. Now suddenly we’re talking about household savings and pensions – something unheard of for most families until now.

But none of these economic or societal reforms will be possible without bold leadership and the building of a building a capable, uncaptured state.

Five months ago, during your State of the Nation Address, you told us you were a man of action, Mr President.

Invoking Theodore Roosevelt, you led us to believe that you were the man in the arena, the doer of deeds whose face was marred by dust and sweat and blood.

But in reality, all this Presidency has produced so far is plans, commissions and promises. There is no sign yet of the man in the arena, the doer of deeds.

You’ve spoken at length about cleaning up the state and government, but this never went beyond talk.

The SIU is still lying dormant. The NPA has no money to operate. No one has been charged, arrested or prosecuted.

Some are still sitting here with us, chairing portfolio committees.

That’s not the man in the arena, Mr President. That’s just the man watching the arena.

Your office, the Presidency, needs to be defined by actions, not words.

Honourable Members, we must establish an oversight committee over the Presidency. It has often been said that, in writing the Constitution, the authors had Nelson Mandela in mind while they should have foreseen Jacob Zuma.

An oversight committee will ensure that, whether it’s President Mandela, Zuma, Ramaphosa or any future president, the office of the president will be accountable to the people through this House.

It will ensure that this Presidency’s budget is spent where it should be, and not on the legal defense of the president.

Pay your own legal fees, Mr President. If this really is a new era for the Presidency, then show the people of South Africa how it is different from the old one.

If you were the man in the arena, Mr President, then the revelations at the Zondo Commission would have spurred you into action. But yet we see nothing from you.

Mr Zuma’s testimony is either that of a deranged man, or he was part of a team that worked to destroy our nation.

In Zuma’s own words, those who now speak of nine wasted years were party to the decisions taken during those nine years, or party to their implementation.

You sat on that team, as the No.2 to Zuma’s No.1, and you were silent then. Will you continue to be silent now, as your party is flayed and its entrails laid out at the commission?

Don’t you owe it to this House to return here tomorrow and assure us that you will go to the commission and set the record straight?

We need a president who acts, not one who sits idly by.

In the words of former President Mandela, “We can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities. And we dare not linger for our long walk is not ended.”

You dare not linger, Mr President.

You need to choose your country over your party. You need to change what isn’t working, because simply doing more of the same will get us nowhere.

If you choose the path of reform, you will have an ally in the DA. Together we can rebuild the consensus we lost as a nation – a new 2019 consensus that will see us through the next ten years.

But if you choose not to – if you’d rather not upset the status quo – then we will bring the change without you.

The choice is yours, Mr President.

BOKAMOSO | The myth of two ANCs is hurting South Africa

To secure a prosperous future for South Africa, the South African public needs to understand that the ANC as a whole is disastrous for this country. The notion that the “good ANC” of Ramaphosa and his reform slate will save South Africa from the “bad ANC” of Magashule, Mabuza, Zuma and the various looters of our state is misguided.

Since taking over from President Zuma a year and a half ago, President Ramaphosa has benefitted from, and at times peddled, this myth. It has largely succeeded in absolving him from wrongdoing and placing him beyond reproach in the eyes of the South African public when what we should be doing is holding him to account.

Superficially, this myth of two ANCs seems plausible and is perhaps entrenched by certain policy disagreements, such as the issue of the Reserve Bank.

But there is in fact only one ANC in which Cyril Ramaphosa has been a central player since long before he became its president at Nasrec. He sat on the ANC’s Top 6 under Jacob Zuma – the same structure he continues to serve in today. He was part of every decision, good or bad, taken by this structure and it is inconceivable that he was either unaware, or sat passively, as key issues were discussed and implemented.

For example, in KZN back in 2011, the ANC succeeded in strengthening their position and weakening the IFP by rewarding Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi with a deputy cabinet post for splitting from the IFP to form the National Freedom Party. It seems the same tactic has been applied in the Western Cape, except this time the reward was a full cabinet post.

Another example is the list of compromised Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairs announced last month which, according to the myth, Ramaphosa either didn’t know about, or had foisted upon him by the “bad ANC” faction. This is simply not true. Ramaphosa cannot have been oblivious to these appointments, as though he had just jetted in yesterday from a distant planet with smart cities and bullet trains.

Ironically, Ramaphosa is the one now preaching ANC unity, while the media commentators persist with the “two ANCs” message on his behalf. It is a dangerous, ahistorical fiction that fails to recognise the political power of the collective in the ANC.

A related myth is that Ramaphosa needs protection from his enemies within the party. This myth is spread by those who called for a “stronger mandate” for Ramaphosa ahead of the elections.

But as they are now fast discovering, it is impossible to give such a mandate to him alone. The effect of this myth has been to destroy accountability and absolve the ANC of its wrongdoings.

Here is a president who received half a million rand from corrupt Bosasa, who got caught out and misled Parliament, and who then had to change his response, even though there is no legal process in Parliament for changing a response. These are facts, but they are easily ignored by those who believe he is simply a victim of a conspiracy by the bad guys – a victim who now needs our protection.

These myths play beautifully into the hands of the president. Because while this is the dominant narrative, he can do no wrong. And if he appears to do wrong, then it must have been the actions of the forces of evil from whom he needs our protection. The President of the Republic of South Africa has extraordinary and excessive constitutional powers. He doesn’t need protection. He needs to be held to a high standard, and he needs to be accountable for his actions. Canonising him in a myth of good vs evil is a dangerous game for our democracy.

The ANC as a whole, with its vision of a National Democratic Revolution in which the state controls the economy, is destroying South Africa. Buying into a myth which removes accountability and keeps the ANC in power is investing in SA’s demise.

Long live the spirit of the Great Heart

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply  saddened by the passing of Johnny Clegg.

South Africa and the world mourn a cultural icon whose influence spans decades.

Indeed a giant has fallen – Johny Clegg was one of the few South African musicians whose music was able to unite people across cultural and racial backgrounds, as well as tie different generations together. His contribution to the the Struggle for a Democratic South Africa through song will always ring dearly in our hearts.

We wish his family, friends and fans our deepest and heartfelt condolences during this time.

Johnny Clegg may have played his last note but his music will live forever.

Under-staffed, under-capacitated, under-funded IPID has only completed 14.5% of cases

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes with concern the damning findings evident in the Half Year Report of the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID), which outlines that during the period of April-September 2018, only 894 out of 6 153 cases were completed. This translates to a worrisome 14.5% completed cases of the total cases reported to them.

These findings come as no surprise to the DA, as we have constantly reiterated that there is a desperate need for greater IPID resourcing, through a larger budget allocation. Just last week this very issue was raised in the Police Budget Debate and a budget amendment was tabled at the Appropriations Committee to allocate an additional R300 Million to IPID a for investigations. Without better resourcing, IPID is wholly under-capacitated, and lacking in the basic personnel required to investigate the cases brought to them.

In its report, IPID conceded that budget and personnel constraints have “adversely impacted on the performance of the Directorate”. Currently, IPID only has 2 519 staff members when it should have 5 332.

This very large case backlog undermines IPID’s ability to be an effective watchdog in holding our police accountable, and it hampers efforts to create an honest and professional police service.

Furthermore, the Half Year Report has indicated that there has been a 66% increase of reports of torture, cases of rape by a police officer has increased by 12% and corruption cases against police officers has increased by 6%. There is no doubt that the need for police oversight is crucial and cannot be subject to a poor budget allocation.

An additional contributing factor to IPID’s inability to function effectively is its lack of a permanent Head. In a recent Portfolio Committee Meeting for Police, the DA requested that the Chairperson, Tina Joemat Pettersson, summon the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to report on the appointment of an IPID Head before the end of July. The 31st of this month will serve as the end of the term of the current incumbent IPID Head. The Chairperson agreed to this call by the DA, but there are no scheduled meetings for the Portfolio Committee until August.

Without strong leadership, and appropriate funding, how can IPID be expected to function successfully and provide a sensible degree of oversight, to ensure SAPS is an honest and professional police service?

The DA will once more agitate for increased funding for IPID, and for the placement of a committed, independent and decisive leader as its Head. South Africans deserve an honest and professional police service, which in part requires the oversight and investigation of police wrongdoing to be effective.

A-G seemingly dragging its feet on implementation of Public Audit Amendment Act

In a briefing of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) on Tuesday, Auditor-General (AG) representatives stated that the A-G would not be fully implementing its extended mandate which came into effect on the 1st of April 2019.

The Public Audit Amendment Act, which President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law in November 2018, was meant to give the A-G more teeth in order to hold, especially, wayward and delinquent municipalities to account.

The extended mandate given to the A-G includes the issuing of binding remedial action that must be taken by delinquent municipalities which, if not implemented, will result in the A-G issuing a certificate of debt for failure to implement against the relevant accounting officer i.e. the municipal manager in the case of municipalities.

The A-G report on the 2017/18 audit outcomes of municipalities is a horror story with only 18 out of 257 municipalities getting a “clean audit”. Despite this crisis in local government, it is worrying that the A-G seems to have no intention of using its new mandate robustly and in every instance of non-implementation of its recommendations.

The A-G stated that they want to “ease into the extended mandate”. This makes light of the law passed by Parliament and gives municipalities a get out of jail free card, possibly for years to come.

As such, the Democratic Alliance has written to the SCOPA committee chairperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, to ask that he request the A-G’s full plan of action for the implementation of the amendments to the Public Audit Act, in order to ensure that Parliament and the public have an opportunity to fully consider and scrutinise the A-G’s extended mandate.

In light of the dismal municipal audit outcomes this year, it is paramount that the A-G shows some teeth and hold delinquent and irresponsible municipalities to account.

Zuma’s first day at Zondo Commission a smoke and mirrors show

Former President Jacob Zuma’s testimony before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry today was nothing more than an attempt to play the victim and evade accountability.

Instead of coming clean, former President Zuma spoke of a biased media, conspiracy theories and assassination plots, none of which could be backed with evidence.

He also suggested that he had been targeted by two foreign intelligence agencies in conjunction with a local intelligence agency which conspired against him, further to this, he claimed that at one point there was a rumour that he would be offered R20 million to resign as then Deputy President.

If these allegations are true, he must reveal which intelligence agencies plotted against him, who was behind the alleged R20 million offer and where the money would have come from.

At no point did he take any personal responsibility for the state capture which took place under his presidency. The unrepentant looting and corruption which is estimated to have wiped out a third of South Africa’s R4.9 trillion GDP, took place under his watch.

No amount of obfuscating and confusion will prevent the former President from accounting. He must come clean on his role in state capture and his knowledge of others’ involvement.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) maintains that the Zondo Commission is a not the trial of Jacob Zuma, as he is but the figure head of a sophisticated and damaging scheme led by the ANC and its associates.

The Zondo Commission, has a mammoth task in investigating state capture and has proven to be effective in revealing the large scale corruption of the ANC government , and we trust that Jacob Zuma’s smoke and mirrors show today will not deter the Commission from conducting its work and unearthing the truth.