Malusi Gibaba should come clean and make a public statement about his relationship with the Guptas

The Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, will reportedly take office this morning at National Treasury.
The minister tried to restore confidence and calm following his shock midnight appointment.
However, there is a strong impression that President Jacob Zuma appointed the minister with the Guptas’ “stamp of approval” and that the minister is close to the Guptas.
The impression was re-enforced when the minister reportedly zig-zagged his way around hard questions about his relationship with the Guptas at his maiden press conference on the weekend.
The minister can run but he cannot hide from hard questions about his relationship with the Guptas.
That is why the minister should act in the best interests of National Treasury and issue a public statement:

  • setting out all the facts including the details of every meeting, every decision, and every gift ever received from or relating to the Guptas; and
  • reassuring the public that he is committed to serving the public interest rather than the private interests of the Guptas.

If the minister continues to zig-zag his way around the hard questions, he will be responsible for compromising the institutional integrity of National Treasury.
And the one thing that we simply cannot afford is for the whiff of corruption and maladministration to waft around National Treasury.

Parliament must not be found wanting

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, has today committed to a “process of consultation” with relevant parties in respect of the DA’s Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma – tabled on 30 March in terms of Section 102 of the Constitution.
Following Zuma’s midnight Cabinet cull, the DA also called for Parliament to reconvene immediately for this motion to be debated.
Whilst we appreciate Mbete’s duty to consult, we cannot allow her office to dawdle. It is disappointing that she is set to visit Luthuli House tomorrow and Parliament only on Tuesday. Her priorities are clear for all to see.
Historically, Mbete’s loyalty to Zuma has been unwavering and she has rarely hesitated to undermine the institution of Parliament to shield him.
South Africa is now experiencing a groundswell of opposition to Zuma and his undisguised project of state capture. Parliament cannot be side-lined by a biased Speaker who puts party before country.
Mbete must fast-track her consultation and schedule a sitting of the National Assembly immediately.

DA Federal Executive takes decision to charge Helen Zille

The following statement was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press conference following a sitting of the party’s Federal Executive (FedEx) in Cape Town. Maimane was joined by the Chairperson the DA’s Federal Executive, James Selfe, and DA National Spokesperson, Phumzile Van Damme.
The Federal Executive of the Democratic Alliance has today – at a sitting in Cape Town – taken a decision to institute formal disciplinary action against Ms Helen Zille, following recommendations presented by the Party’s Federal Legal Commission (FLC).
This has not been an easy decision to take. Ms Zille is a former leader of the Democratic Alliance, and the Premier of the Western Cape. She has contributed immensely to the growth and success of the DA over the past decade. In the course of her life, she has consistently fought oppression and discrimination. However, my job as the Leader of the DA is to grow our party and advance our project of building a non-racial, prosperous democracy. Nothing is more important that this project, and no one is bigger than it. I must protect this project, and cannot tolerate any action or behaviour by any person which undermines or harms it. It is my belief that Ms Zille’s assertions did just that, and therefore require action.
The charge against Ms Zille is that she has violated the Party’s Federal Constitution by acting in a manner which has brought the party into disrepute. A formal disciplinary hearing will now be instituted in order to come to a finding.
Today’s decision follows a series of tweets by Ms Zille, published on 16 March 2017, which sought to communicate her experiences and impressions following a week-long visit to Singapore.
As Party Leader, I referred Ms Zille to the Federal Legal Commission on 16 March 2017 for investigation in order for that body to determine whether the public assertions by Ms Zille amounted to prima facie evidence of misconduct in terms the Federal Constitution. The Federal Legal Commission, in its report to the FedEx, confirms that there is in fact a case for Ms Zille to answer, and therefore the FedEx has decided to proceed with disciplinary action.
It must be made clear that this matter is not strictly confined to the series of tweets by Ms Zille. Since then, the matter has developed further. Therefore the initial referral was supplemented on 22 March 2017 to include reference to “a series of comments (made) publicly and on social media that have…exacerbated and amplified the original tweet.”
In particular, the FLC will now determine if Ms Zille has breached the following provisions of the DA’s Federal Constitution: – publicly opposes the Party’s principles or repeatedly opposes published party policies, except in or through the appropriate Party structures; – deliberately acts in a way which impacts negatively on the image or performance of the Party; – brings the good name of the Party into disrepute or harms the interests of the Party;
As Party Leader, I have confidence in the independence and institutional strength of our internal structures and mechanisms, and we await the outcome arrived at by the disciplinary action – whatever that may be. The Democratic Alliance is a party committed to due process and the rule of law. That means everyone is equal before the party’s constitution, and it means that in every case, due process will be followed. This naturally places some limitations on what can be said about the details of the case in public. The FLC is not a body controlled by me or anyone in the DA. It is a panel of independently-minded, legally qualified individuals, who must hear the evidence and make a decision.
Notwithstanding this internal matter, I would like to make it abundantly clear that the DA remains resolute in our mission towards 2019. Our mission is clear: we seek to bring all South Africans together behind the vision of a united, non-racial future, under the Constitution, with a growing economy.
We are fast running out of time to save our country from the clutches of the Zuma administration and its Gupta bosses. Now, more than ever, we need to push on in removing Zuma from power.
In this light I will be leading thousands of South Africans on a march to the ANC HQ at Luthuli House this Friday, 7 April 2017, calling on the ANC to support our Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma – which will be before Parliament in the coming weeks.
I have also convened a meeting with the leaders of all opposition parties in Parliament, in order to come together and agree on the way forward in removing Jacob Zuma from office. This meeting will be held on Monday, 3 April 2017, in Johannesburg.
Together, as South Africans from all walks of life, we must stand up for the Constitution, and everything it represents. We must to build a fair society in which every single South African – no matter the circumstances of their birth – can live a life they truly value.
For this to occur, we must be resolute in our commitment to change, which will require all of us as South Africans to work together in building the shared future we all dream of.

Malusi Gigaba’s maiden press conference likely to cause more policy uncertainty in SA

Newly appointed Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba’s maiden press conference to “restore confidence and restore calm” is likely to have exactly the opposite effect and create even more policy uncertainty when it comes to the economy in South Africa.
The minister expressed his commitment to “radical economic transformation” with almost religious zeal, but then did not seem to be able to explain exactly what it means and conceded that there was still “a whole lot of clarification that we have to do”.
This is unlikely to go down well with what the minister called the “credible ratings agencies”, with one ratings agency already warning that a change in policy may signal a ratings review of South Africa.
The real concern is that the minister was appointed with the Guptas’ stamp of approval and the real test of the new minister will not be his words, but his deeds when it comes to decisions that may have an effect on the Gupta empire’s interests in South Africa.
These include, but are not limited to, the following: the appointment of the Chief Procurement Officer at National Treasury; the approval of the joint venture or partnership with VR Laser Asia; the review of coal contracts entered into between Eskom and Tegeta Exploration and Resources; and any action in respect of the control over the Habib Overseas Bank.

If Zuma does not jump, he’ll be pushed

The groundswell of unity among South Africans, from the clergy to NGOs; from the Opposition to senior members within the ANC, following Jacob Zuma’s hostile takeover of the Treasury and selling of the country to a cabal of looters and liars, leave Zuma with two options; jump or be pushed.
Zuma’s self-interested decision to fire capable and trusted Treasury leadership and replace them with servants of corruption has sparked the country into action. Already, our petition on has received close to 300 000 signatures, and counting, all calling for Zuma to be removed; a wave of protests swept across the country’s major capitals of Cape Town and Tshwane; both the Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada Foundations have spoken out strongly against the “the forces of evil, and the rogues, and the thieves who want to steal our country from us.”
Ultimately, it is the National Assembly that has the duty and Constitutional authority to remove the President when he does not act in the interests of the country, the people and the economy. The National Assembly hired Zuma, it’s now time that it fired him.
The Democratic Alliance therefore reiterates its call for the Speaker of the National Assembly to reconvene the National Assembly for a special sitting to debate and vote on a Motion of No Confidence in Zuma. This is not a DA Motion of No Confidence, it is the people’s Motion of No Confidence.
It is in the interests of the country and its future that all political parties support the removal of Zuma because in the words of former Minister Barbara Hogan and partner to the late Uncle Kathy, “Party loyalty is important, but when we are in as grave a situation as we are in today, the Constitution that we love and fought for, must take precedence over any lingering notion that party loyalty is above anything.”
Furthermore, we call upon South Africans to put pressure on their Members of Parliament especially those in the ANC to support this move to take back the country from Zuma and the self-serving and criminal elements he has chosen to surround himself with. We therefore invite all South Africans to join us on Friday, 07 April 2017, as we take this message to the ANC’s doorstep, in order to remind, Cyril Ramaphosa, Jackson Mthembu, Derek Hanekoem and others of their primary duty to the people of South Africa and the Constitution.
One man cannot hold 56-million South Africans hostage.

BOKAMOSO | ANC leaders must now choose between Uncle Kathy’s principles and his party

On Friday we South Africans woke up to another country. South Africa is now a de facto kleptocracy. Jacob Zuma’s mafia, run by the Godfather Guptas, has taken control of our Treasury. They have fired the most competent protectors of our national purse, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas, and replaced them with Malusi Gigaba, a sycophant who will hand them the keys to our Treasury, and Sfiso Buthelezi, possibly a compromise appointment, respectively. It was the last desperate gamble of a man with a Gupta gun to his head. Or perhaps a Russian nuclear gun. Mr Zuma is a disgraceful man. He cares nothing at all for the poor and vulnerable, still less for our constitution. He is irretrievably captured by self-serving interests. But they have underestimated us, the people of South Africa. We won’t go down without a fight. And the DA has taken this fight to where it belongs, the National Assembly.
On Thursday, the DA tabled a Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma. This gives ANC leaders one last opportunity to do the right thing. After all, it is the ANC who chooses our president. At all times, he serves only at their behest. The ANC National Executive Committee could remove him today, as they could have removed him on any day since 9 May 2009. But those leaders within the ANC who oppose Zuma and who are not caught up in his parasitic patronage network are in the minority. That much was evident after their failed bid to remove him as President of South Africa during protracted ANC NEC deliberations in December last year. And yet it is important to understand that it is well within their power to fire him. But they will have to find the courage to do so in the broad light of day, in our legislature, where those who want to put South Africa first are in the majority.
This means that these ANC leaders will have to vote with South Africa and against the ANC. Today we call on them to rise to the challenge of true leadership. We call on them to put aside personal and party considerations and act in the public interest. Even if only about 50 or 60 out of a total of 249 ANC Members of Parliament support the motion, it will be enough to force Jacob Zuma to resign, since virtually all 151 opposition MPs will vote against Jacob Zuma’s continued presidency. All that is required to remove him is a simple majority of 201 MPs to support the motion.
That, and for these ANC leaders to do the right thing. In this, they can draw inspiration from a true South African leader who left us this week. Struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada was the embodiment of courage, integrity, selflessness and wisdom. He put the greater good ahead of individual and party political considerations. These are the values that carried South Africa to a peaceful resolution in 1994. And these are the values that must unite South African leaders today in our time of crisis, so that we can tackle our real enemies: poverty and unemployment.
Like his fellow struggle companions, Ahmed Kathrada resonated at an exceptionally high level of consciousness. This has generated a deep sense of loss in all of us. Subconsciously, we feel the powerful gravitational pull of his principles. It was visceral at his funeral on Wednesday, which was not an ANC gathering but rather a gathering of those loyal to his values. There is much to mourn. Not only the man, but the ANC he knew and loved, are gone.
But his values live on and it is loyalty to those values rather than to the current ANC, that holds the solution to our crisis. Uncle Kathy himself realised this. Torn between loyalty to the ANC, and loyalty to South Africa, he chose the latter. In an open letter he penned to President Jacob Zuma after the Constitutional Court judgement on Nkandla last year which found the President to have violated his oath of office, Uncle Kathy wrote and former President Kgalema Motlanthe read at his funeral:
“I have always maintained a position of not speaking out publicly about any difference I may harbour against my leaders and my organisation, the ANC. I would only have done so when I thought that some important organisational matters compel me to raise my concerns.
Today I have decided to break with that tradition. The position of President is one that must at all times unite this country behind a vision and programme that seeks to make tomorrow a better day than today for all South Africans. It is a position that requires the respect of all South Africans, which of course must be earned at all time.
And bluntly, if not arrogantly, in the face of such persistently widespread criticism, condemnation and demand, is it asking too much to express the hope that you will choose the correct way that is gaining momentum, to consider stepping down.”
Each one of the current ANC leaders who hold Kathrada’s values dear have a last chance to make the same choice between the ANC and South Africa, between party and principle, if they truly seek to make tomorrow a better day than today for all South Africans. We know that Zuma will not step down, but the popular movement against him has enormous momentum and firing him is indeed the “correct way” to go, the right thing to do. Uncle Kathy and his ANC are gone, but his values are timeless and all-powerful. They will see us through.