Baleka Mbete must now lay criminal charges against SABC liars

Now that the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, has finally tabled the report from Parliament’s Legal Services Unit identifying those who mislead or lied to the SABC Ad Hoc committee, she must ensure that criminal charges are laid against them.
The recommendation in the report of the Ad Hoc committee on the SABC inquiry was that Parliament itself lay charges against the individuals who misled the committee.
As Speaker, Mbete is the Constitutional Head of the National Assembly and must ensure that a recommendation of a report adopted by the National Assembly, including the ANC, is duly implemented.
The recommendation read: “Parliament’s Legal Services Unit, with the assistance of the Evidence Leader, should within 60 days from the adoption of this report by the National Assembly, identify the persons who misled the inquiry or provided false information or false testimony with the aim of criminal charges being laid”.
The report identified the following individuals as giving misleading or contradictory evidence and they are liable to a fine or imprisonment, or both:

  • Former Communications Minister, Faith Muthambi – whose testimony “could be seen as an attempt to mislead the Inquiry”.
  • Former Company Secretary, Theressa Geldenguys – for her “failure to inform the Committee that she was no longer the company secretary […] which could be considered as an attempt to mislead the Inquiry”.
  • Former SABC CEO, James Aguma – who might have provided the Inquiry with an email which “purports to lack authenticity as being that generated by the [Companies and Intellectual Property Commission] CIPC”. The report states that “in order to establish this fact conclusively further investigation needs to be undertaken to ascertain whether the email was generated by the CIPC”.
  • Former SABC Board Chair, Prof. Mbulaheni Maguvhe – Prof. Maguve and Minister Muthambi provided contradictory testimonies regarding the labour dispute between the SABC 8 and the SABC, which“could be indicative of Prof. Maguvhe misleading the Inquiry”.
  • Former SABC Board Chair, Dr Ben Ngubane – “[the] testimony offered by Dr Ngubane could be seen as an attempt to mislead the inquiry and that false information was presented to the Inquiry”.

Although the DA welcomes the tabling of this report, the reality is that it is almost 12 weeks overdue and has been sitting on the Speaker’s desk since the 5th of June.
Mbete must now ensure that she fully complies with the full recommendation of the report and lay criminal charges.
Misleading Parliament is a serious offense and the DA will ensure that this report will not stay just another report.
A clear message must be sent to those who think they can lie, under oath, to Parliament – lying will not be tolerated. It is now up to the Speaker to ensure that this message is sent otherwise the DA will ensure it is heard loud and clear.

ANC chooses defence of Zuma over state capture probe

Today the ANC once again made it clear that they are unmoved in their defence of President Jacob Zuma and that, through their majority in Parliament, they will frustrate our efforts to establish an Ad Hoc Committee on State Capture.
We have been left with no doubt that the ANC is committed to defending President Zuma, the Guptas, and their project of state capture.
This follows the cynical ploy by the House Chairperson of Committees, Cedric Frolick, of relegating Parliament’s efforts to investigate state capture to the portfolio committees of Home Affairs, Mineral Resources, Public Enterprises and Transport, only. The ANC has wantonly chosen to ignore the fact that state capture is a broad spectrum attack on our very sovereignty and our democracy, not an anomaly in four departments.
In explaining their objection to the establishment of an ad hoc committee to enquire “into [the] undue influence by certain individuals over the executive in their exercise of executive authority”, the ANC pontificated about the effective role portfolio committees could play in investigating state capture.
Curiously, they could not explain why this hasn’t happened yet, despite the tabling of the Public Protector’s damning State of Capture report in 2016 and, more recently, the allegations contained in the #GuptaLeaks.
The ANC could also not explain why so few portfolio committees have been tasked with probing these wide-ranging allegations, especially as former and current ministers of Finance, Communications, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and others have all been implicated.
What is clear, however, is that any kind of Parliamentary probe into allegations of state capture is now delayed by the ANC until after recess, which will only end in August 2017. The ANC is simply dragging its feet to avoid the truth coming out.
More worryingly, the President has been given another reprieve by the ANC in Parliament which knows perfectly well that there exists no portfolio committee dealing with the President, specifically, and wilfully ignores the fact that the Zuma and Gupta families are the fulcrum of the state capture project.
We would like to express our gratitude to our fellow opposition parties who recognised the need for an ad hoc committee on state capture and supported our proposal.
The DA is undeterred and will move our draft resolution on the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on State Capture at the very next opportunity in the House. We hope that Members from the ANC can find the courage of conviction to support our motion and begin the work of ridding South Africa of state capture and those who believe our beautiful land is up for sale.

DA submits PAIA application to Mbete for report on SABC Inquiry false testimony

I will today submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to gain access to a report from Parliament’s Legal Services Unit detailing any witnesses who gave contradictory or misleading evidence during the SABC Inquiry.
During today’s National Assembly Programme Committee, I asked when the report was going to be tabled. National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, replied that her Office had sought legal advice and that she would first be engaging with the implicated parties. It is unclear why she has chosen to do this, and under what authority, and how long this process will take. I asked, pointedly, if we could at least be given an assurance that report will not be sanitised or redacted.
The report was one of the key recommendations of the SABC Inquiry Report and Parliament’s Legal Services were tasked with “identify[ing] the persons who misled the inquiry or provided false information or false testimony with the aim of criminal charges being laid.” This report into false information or false testimony was completed by 5 June and a copy was handed to the Speaker’s Office, but is yet to be tabled in Parliament.
The Speaker is now obliged to table this report before the House, via the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports (ATC), as the report was a recommendation of an ad hoc committee and not a personal undertaking. It should also be referred to the Portfolio Committee on Communications where the ad hoc committee originated.
The Ad Hoc Committee into the SABC was a stellar example of how Parliament, through diligence and multi-party cooperation, held the Executive to account and addressed governance issues at an ailing state-owned entity.
It would be a massive disservice to everyone involved in the committee that those who misled the enquiry or provided false testimony, under oath, be allowed to escape accountability and censure.

Public Protector’s “new investigation” shields Zuma, cabinet

The Public Protector, Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, announced last night that her office will conduct a “preliminary investigation” to determine the merits of several allegations of corruption and unlawful enrichment emanating from the infamous “Gupta Leaks” – a tranche of leaked emails which implicate a host of Cabinet Ministers, Gupta-Owned Companies, public officials and State-Owned Entities in grand corruption and abuse of state power and resources.
In her statement released last night, Adv. Mkhwebane stated the following would be investigated:

  • Improper or dishonest act, or omission or offences referred to in Part 1 to 4, or section 17, 20 or 21 (in so far as it relates to the aforementioned offences) of Chapter 2 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004, with respect to public funds at Eskom, PRASA and Transnet; 
  • Improper or unlawful enrichment, or receipt of any improper advantage, or promise of such enrichment or advantage, by certain public officials at Eskom, PRASA and Transnet;

It is clear from this announcement that the preliminary investigation is far too narrow, and only includes cherry-picked State Owned Entities, while ignoring the role played by Jacob Zuma, his Cabinet Ministers, and the Guptas through their companies – as well as other SOEs.
Therefore, as the initial complainant in the State of Capture report, I will today be writing to the Public Protector, indicating my objection to this narrow investigation, and to request that she broaden the scope of the investigation to include every single individual, company, and State Owned Entity implicated in the leaked emails, including:

  • Cabinet Ministers Mosebenzi Zwane, Des Van Rooyen, Malusi Gigaba, Lynne Brown, and Faith Muthambi, as well as Free State Premier Ace Magashule;
  • Gupta-controlled companies Sahara Computers, Oakbay Investments, Mabengela Investments, Zestilor, Tegeta Exploration and Resources, and Elgasolve; and
  • State-Owned Entities Denel and South African Airways (SAA)

It appears that this investigation has been crafted as narrowly as possible to create the veneer of a state capture investigation, while at the same time protecting the real power brokers in state capture. The Public Protector has a duty to protect the public from the abuse of power, not to protect the President, his cabinet ministers and the Guptas.
Notwithstanding this new investigation by the Public Protector, the DA is pursuing several other avenues to hold those involved in the unlawful looting and sale of our country to account.
Earlier this month, I laid an array of criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma, members of the Gupta family, several Cabinet Ministers and senior executives of State Owned Entities, and other individuals alleged to be key players in the criminal syndicate that has captured large elements of the South African state.
The DA has also called for the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee in the National Assembly. As detailed in our motion, the committee will be tasked with investigating evidence of “undue influence by certain individuals over the exercise of executive authority in South Africa”.
Lastly, the DA is in court fighting for the establishment of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry  – recommended by former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, in her State of Capture report – which President Zuma is fighting tooth and nail to block.
The DA will pursue every available avenue until the corrupt State Capture project that has undermined and crippled key institutions of the state is stopped and the ANC is removed from power.
We must end this grand-scale corruption so that we can focus on growing the economy and creating jobs for the 9.3 million unemployed South Africans.

DA to push for State Capture Ad-Hoc Committee on Wednesday, 14 June

The DA is hopeful that multi-party consensus can be reached on Wednesday, 14 June, when our draft resolution on the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on State Capture is discussed during Chief Whips’ Forum.
As detailed in our motion, the committee will be tasked with investigating evidence of “undue influence by certain individuals over the exercise of executive authority in South Africa”.
News reports are detailing, almost daily, how the Guptas have succeeded in capturing President Jacob Zuma and his executive, and how their influence now permeate the Cabinet and key state-owned entities (SOEs).
Indeed, there is already overwhelming evidence that Cabinet ministers and heads of SOEs have abused their positions of privilege by wantonly passing government information on to the Gupta family and their associates to be exploited for self-enrichment.
Offenders include:

  • Faith Muthambi

Then-Minister of Communications Muthambi forwarded a presidential proclamation detailing her powers to the Guptas and their associates before this proclamation was even signed by the President.  She also sent them confidential information on cabinet meetings.

  • Lynne Brown

Leaked emails show that the Gupta family and their associates had easy access to confidential internal memos sent to the Minister of Public Enterprises in which the Department expresses uneasiness about the Denel and VR Laser Asia joint venture.

  • Des van Rooyen

Special advisers during Van Rooyen’s three-day tenure as Minister of Finance, Ian Whitley and Mohamed Bobat, sent Treasury documents on to Gupta associates such as Eric Wood and Salim Essa.

  • Dan Mantsha

The Head of Denel reportedly forwarded confidential emails between Denel and the State Security Agency to the Gupta family and/or associates.

  • Bruce Koloane

In February 2013, while he was Chief of State Protocol in the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, Koloane sent Ashu Chawla, an associate of the Gupta family, operational information with regards to the Waterkloof Airforce Base for the months of March and April 2013.
Through the actions detailed above, Muthambi, Brown, Van Rooyen, Whitley, Bobat and Mantha may have committed offences in terms of sections 3 and 4 of the Protection of Information Act, Act 84 of 1982 (last amended in 2013 by General Intelligence Laws Amendment Act, Act 11 of 2013), whereas Koloane and others may have committed offences in terms of the National Key Points Act, Act 102 of 1980.
These offences are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The DA will proceed to lay criminal charges against these Ministers and officials. We will soon announce the details of the charge laying.
It has become clear that a sweeping investigation into state capture is required and Parliament, empowered by Section 55 of the Constitution to oversee the exercise of executive authority, is best placed to undertake it.
Importantly, the ad hoc committee’s general powers, as detailed in section 167 of the NA Rules, will authorise it to determine its own working arrangements and includes the powers, inter alia, to summon any person to appear before it to give evidence on oath or affirmation, to produce documents, and to conduct public hearings. The committee is also permitted to meet on any day and at any time, allowing this important work to start immediately and proceed with the necessary urgency.
Our draft resolution can be adopted by a simple majority in the National Assembly and we urge the presiding officers to have it tabled at the soonest possible opportunity. In the interest of South Africa, we urge all parties to support our motion and to work side-by-side, through the ad hoc committee, to investigate and expose those individuals who have sold our country to the highest bidder.

DA lobbies multi-party support for Ad Hoc Committee on state capture

I have today distributed the DA’s draft resolution on the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on state capture, as per National Assembly Rule 253(1)(a), to all parties for consideration. A request for this matter to be placed on the Order Paper as a matter of urgency was forwarded to the Speaker’s Office on 29 May.
The motion will now be discussed in Chief Whips Forum with a view to having it scheduled at the next meeting of the National Assembly Programme Committee.
South Africans are punch-drunk by the seemingly endless revelations about state capture and the astonishing influence the Gupta family wields over President Jacob Zuma and members of his Executive.
I believe there is broad consensus that a thorough investigation into these allegations is long overdue and submit that Parliament is best placed to undertake it.
As detailed in our motion, Parliament is duty-bound by Section 55 of the Constitution to oversee the exercise of executive authority. As such, the various correspondence which show that there has been undue influence by persons not in the executive over the exercise of executive authority in South Africa must be laid bare and interrogated.
An Ad Hoc Committee is the perfect vehicle for looking into state capture as the committee can:

  • Summon any document to be served before it;
  • Summon any person to appear before it, under oath;
  • Receive petitions or submissions from interested persons; and
  • Conduct public hearings into any relevant matter pertaining.

This committee will be empowered to call President Zuma and the Guptas to give testimony, and should not hesitate to do so.
We call on all parties represented in Parliament to support the establishment of this Ad Hoc committee and to participate in the project of putting an end to state capture, once and for all. South Africans are looking to Parliament to tackle this crisis and we dare not fail them.

State Capture Inquiry must proceed in Parliament

The DA notes that the ANC has today agreed that an Inquiry into State Capture is needed, after the slew of damning ANC-Gupta emails leaked this week.
The DA believes that it is deeply disingenuous that the ANC is calling for an inquiry into the capture of its own government. There have been numerous opportunities for the ANC to take action against its captured President and its Gupta captors, but it has not done so.
The ANC has proved through its inaction that South Africa does not solely have a Zuma or Gupta problem, but an ANC problem.
On Monday the DA announced our call for a full-scale inquiry into state capture, through an Ad-Hoc Committee in Parliament.
We believe in light of this week’s most damning slew of evidence of state capture by the Guptas and the ANC, that the Parliamentary Inquiry we have called for must proceed urgently. Parliament is mandated by the Constitution to hold the captured ANC Executive to account, and must do so.
The DA’s request to constitute an Ad-Hoc Committee is currently with National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, and we await agreement from Parliament to put the matter before the National Assembly for approval. The Speaker must not delay the formation of this Ad-Hoc Committee.
On the basis of the ANC’s statement today we expect that the ANC will fully support our call for a Parliamentary Inquiry, and we expect ANC MP’s to vote for the Ad-Hoc Committee.
We believe that the Ad-Hoc Committee in Parliament can only get to the bottom of the overwhelming evidence of State Capture through summoning the Guptas, Jacob Zuma and all implicated Ministers to give testimony.

DA announces Parliamentary and criminal action against State Capture

The fact that the ANC National Executive Committee chose to keep Jacob Zuma in power as President of South Africa last night is a serious crime against the people of South Africa.
This once again illustrates that the ANC cannot self-correct. The ANC still supports Zuma. Jacob Zuma is the ANC, and the ANC is Jacob Zuma.
The DA believes that Zuma’s ANC government has given over control of our state to the Guptas. No one has ever voted for a Gupta in South Africa, but the ANC has allowed them full control of our nation and as such, they have violated the integrity of South Africa.
The new state capture allegations, which emerged yesterday, show the extent of the rot. Multiple cabinet ministers, public officials and the upper leadership of state-owned entities have been implicated in a criminal syndicate to control the resources of our country, for their own selfish benefit.
While 9 million South Africans struggle every day without work, without hope, President Zuma and by extension, the ANC, has sold their hopes and dreams to profiteers.
Parliament has the power to hold Ministers in the Executive to full account and must use it.
Yesterday’s allegations and the existing State Capture evidence, reveal that at least five Ministers are in the pockets of the Guptas.
Allegations of Gupta capture against Ministers Van Rooyen, Zwane, Gigaba, Brown and Muthambi, and the Executive as a whole, demand full investigation by Parliament through an Ad Hoc Committee.
Parliament is mandated by the Constitution to hold the Executive accountable. For this reason, the DA has today requested that National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, establish an Ad Hoc Committee to fully probe the relations of captured Ministers, the President and the Gupta family.
This request will necessitate a debate in the National Assembly, in which we expect MPs to put South Africa first and to agree to establish this committee.
The powers of such a committee will include the power to summon any person to come and give evidence, and first of these must be the Guptas themselves.
As I announced yesterday we have over the past 24 hours been in consultation with our lawyers over criminal charges, and these are now almost finalised.
I am satisfied that sufficient criminal elements exist for the laying of charges, including grand corruption, undermining of state sovereignty and various statutory crimes, carrying serious prison terms.
Tomorrow, I will lay these charges with the SAPS, fully documented and evidenced, and I expect that a thorough investigation will follow.
The DA will continue to use all measures, contained in law and the provisions in our Constitution to hold the Executive accountable.
The ANCs protection and backing of Jacob Zuma, last night and throughout his eight-year regime of corruption, shows that the ANC has reached its end of days. The ANC is dead, but there is hope for South Africa.
In 2019, voters can vote out this ANC government and can restore the hope of 1994. There is a new future for South Africa, and that future lies in the DA.