Barbara Hogan’s testimony at today’s Zondo Commission of Inquiry has cemented the fact that the ANC and State Capture are synonymous and inseparable.
The former Minister of Public Enterprises, Ms Hogan, testified how the ANC National Working Committee, Tripartite Alliance and other party bodies did not understand or believe in the separation of the party from the state when it came to State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s).
This is proof that the ANC not only sponsored State Capture, but the ruling party also purposefully facilitated the rot of corruption at our country’s SOE’s.
Ms Hogan at some point explained that she was summoned to Luthuli house to explain her comments on SOE’s instead of to the President or Cabinet.
When it came to appointing a credible replacement CEO for Transnet, former President Jacob Zuma thwarted Ms Hogan’s choice, despite this preferred candidate, Mr Maseko, being recommended by the board and recruitment specialists. Mr Zuma insisted that Mr Gama be appointed as CEO of Transnet, despite misconduct charges that were levelled against him at the time.
Once again, we have clear evidence of heavy interference in the Minister’s authority and usurping of ministerial powers by the ANC. This interference is a potential breach of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act.
Clearly the ANC chose to not understand its role – where it started and where it ended – with regards to SOE instructions.
The ANC and State Capture are one and the same – the only way to remove State Capture would be to exorcize the party that enabled it and start afresh.
The Democratic Alliance has written to the SABC Board Chairperson, Bongumusa Makhathini, to request that the public broadcaster flights the Zondo Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on its terrestrial platforms, including television and radio.
The majority of South Africans are currently only getting mediated coverage of this crucial Commission, and only those with access to satellite television and internet connections that allow for streaming are able to watch the Commission’s live feed on a continuous basis. This leaves most people relying on news agencies to keep them updated on developments throughout the day.
Over the next few weeks alone the Commission will hear testimonies from former and current ministers Nhlanhla Nene, Pravin Gordhan and Barbara Hogan on how the Guptas, in cahoots with Jacob Zuma, tried to capture and pillage state resources. These are crucial testimonies that every South African deserves to hear.
Last week, the DA’s legal representatives wrote to the Secretary of the Zondo Commission, Dr Khotso De Wee, to request confirmation that senior ANC members will testify before the Commission. There have been serious allegations levelled against the party and its members and when they testify all South Africans must have the opportunity to scrutinise their testimonies. Only the SABC has the reach to make sure this happens.
The Zondo Commission is of profound national importance and the SABC, as the public broadcaster, has a duty to dedicate at least one of its terrestrial TV channels and one of its radio stations to broadcasting developments.
Every South African will in some way pay the price for the damage State Capture has done to our state and our economy. It is therefore paramount that the SABC broadcasts the Commission on its terrestrial platforms as ordinary South Africans have the right to know what happened and who is responsible.
The following remarks were made today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press conference following a visit to Robben Island, which was hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank the Kathrada Foundation for inviting us on this trip to one of our country’s most meaningful historical sites. It is deeply moving to know that Uncle Kathy wanted us to understand what Robben Island meant in the context of our struggle history, and had wanted to take us there himself. His absence here today was felt by all.
Those, like Uncle Kathy, who were imprisoned on the island paid an enormous price so that our country could escape the oppression of the Apartheid government. It was their freedom for ours. And it is their stories of sacrifice and leadership that we must turn to for guidance when it seems that we have so little left to guide us today.
Anyone who has ever crossed these 12km of water and set foot on Robben Island will know what the place symbolises for us as a nation. We often speak of the negotiators of our democracy and the authors of our Constitution in the early 90s as the people who wrote the crucial early chapters of our new nation, but many of those conversations started far earlier in the cells and on the grounds of the island.
Many of the concepts of freedom and justice that define us as a nation – and that eventually found their way into our progressive Constitution – were discussed and debated, agreed and disagreed on, for many years by the likes of Ahmed Kathrada, Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Andrew Mlangeni, Dennis Goldberg and Laloo Chiba, who today serves on the Kathrada Foundation Board.
It is an honour for me to make this trip along with people like Mr Chiba, and Barbara Hogan, who was jailed in the 1980s for her role in the fight against Apartheid. Those who were imprisoned on Robben Island sacrificed more than we can imagine. They were subjected to the most inhumane conditions, and parts of their lives were stolen from them and their families. But they helped anchor our struggle to build a free and just society today in the selfless struggle of our history. It is for that sacrifice were are most grateful for.
But today wasn’t only about remembering history. It was also about reflecting on our present. There would be no point in remembering the sacrifices of Mandela, Kathdrada, Sisulu and many others if we don’t ask ourselves: Are we honouring those sacrifices today? Have we made all those decades spent on that island in service of a better South Africa count? Would Ahmed Kathdrada and Nelson Mandela be satisfied with the state of our democracy and the quality of our leadership today?
Every single person in this country knows the answers to these questions. The juxtaposition between what we saw and remembered today and what we read in the Sunday newspapers yesterday was not lost on anyone. The contrast could not possibly be bigger.
Yesterday’s reports that our President has had ongoing relationships with gangsters and smugglers, that he received enormous payments from a private firm while he was president, that he used every means possible to evade his tax obligation and that he used his presidential powers to shut down investigations into his tax crimes are an indictment on the legacy of those who gave their freedom for ours.
You could not turn a page in the newspaper without reading of the corrupt activities, the crimes and the scandals of members of our government and their deployed cadres, including those hoping to take over their reins from Zuma at the end of the year. The organisation that once personified selfless struggle could not have fallen further from grace. The heroes we remembered today could not have been more betrayed.
It is time for every South African to take a stand for these heroes and their vision for our country. It is time for all of us to fix the mess this government under Jacob Zuma and his friends, his family, his handlers and his supporters have gotten us into. None of us can afford to sit on the fence any longer. We simply don’t have the luxury of time.
We made this trip to Robben Island today to fulfil Uncle Kathy’s wishes. But what he also wished for was a South Africa that works for all her people. A South Africa free from oppression, free from poverty and free from the greed of bad leaders. I intend to work to fulfil that wish.