Implicated ANC members must appear before Zondo Commission, not hide behind limited “submissions”

Today, ANC Secretary General, Ace Magashule, stated that the ANC will make submissions, in response to testimony given by several banks, to the Zondo Commission on State Capture. This is not good enough.

Ironically, Mr Magashula has been implicated in state capture during his tenure as Free State Premier and should be among the first ANC members to appear before the commission to answer key questions.

Numerous other high-ranking ANC officials have been implicated in State Capture. They must appear before the Commission and answer each and every allegation levelled against the party and its members.

The DA’s lawyers have written to the Secretary of the Commission into State Capture, Dr Khotso De Wee, to request confirmation that Gwede Mantashe, Jessie Duarte, Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa, Mosebenzi Zwane, Malusi Gigaba, Des van Rooyen, Lynne Brown, Tom Moyane, Arthur Fraser, David Mahlobo, and David Mabuza be called to testify before the Commission. We await a reply and hope the Commission will consider our request favourably.

State capture stole from the people of South Africa and compromised their future as money that should have been spent on improving lives, was syphoned off to the ANC political elite.

There must be consequences for those who steal from the people South Africa. The DA will fight corruption to ensure that all money is spent on the people and if voted into government, will ensure that anyone found guilty of corruption will be sentenced to 15 years in jail.

We must face up to the fact that State capture did not begin with the election of former President Jacob Zuma in 2009. State capture and corruption is central to the ANC’s very nature and being, and there is much to answer for.

In the interests of justice, the ANC must appear before the Zondo Commission into State Capture

The following remarks were delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a picket outside the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Parktown, Johannesburg. Maimane was joined by Team One South Africa member for Corruption, Phumzile van Damme, Team One South Africa member for State Capture, Natasha Mazzone, and Team One South Africa Campaign Spokesperson, Solly Malatsi

Today we are gathered outside the Zondo Commission into State Capture to make one thing clear: the ANC must be called before the Commission, to play open cards and to answer each and every allegation levelled against the party and its members so that South Africans can be assured no stone has been left unturned in the pursuit of justice. Corruption and state capture is an enemy of the poor, vulnerable and jobless, and steals opportunity from South Africans by making ANC-connected cadres rich.

Nine days ago, the DA’s lawyers wrote to the Secretary of the Commission into State Capture, Dr Khotso De Wee, to request confirmation that Gwede Mantashe, Jessie Duarte, Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa, Mosebenzi Zwane, Malusi Gigaba, Des van Rooyen, Lynne Brown, Tom Moyane, Arthur Fraser, David Mahlobo, and David Mabuza be called to testify before the Commission.

Our lawyers have not yet received a response to our letter to Dr De Wee from 18 September. We reiterate this call and implore the Commission to consider this request in light of the sheer depth of corruption and capture, and its damaging effects on the livelihoods of ordinary South Africans. Nothing in the Commission’s Terms of Reference bar it from calling the above-mentioned individuals to appear and to account.

We applaud the great work already carried out by the Commission and look forward to observing today’s proceedings. The Commission has rightly focussed on inquiring into the truth behind state capture and have not permitted a trial of the losing ANC faction from last year’s ANC National Conference at Nasrec to take root. This is not about settling scores, it’s about ensuring those who stole the people’s money are held to account and are put behind bars.

While the ANC must account for their leading role in State Capture and their senior leadership must testify, the Commission cannot become a tool to settle ANC internal factionalism and navigate ANC cadre deployment. These 12 ANC members can mitigate this risk by telling the truth before the Commission.

State capture did not begin with the election of former President Jacob Zuma in 2009. Rather, state capture and corruption is central to the ANC’s very nature and being. Cadre deployment has been an ANC policy for the better part of 20 years, allowing corruption, nepotism, cronyism and ultimately state capture to ensue.

It defies reason for President Cyril Ramaphosa to have not known about ANC involvement in state capture as he was second in command of both the ANC and the country as Deputy President. He must appear before the Commission to explain whether he knew about state capture, and what he did about it once he found out.

The Minister for Woman in the Presidency, Bathabile Dlamini, has famously quipped that most within the ANC have their own ‘smallanyana skeletons.’ South Africa deserves a Commission that will call these ANC members to unearth the truth behind the ANC’s leading role in the capturing of the state.

State capture is a criminal system that continues to operate parallel to national government. Change that builds One South Africa for All hinges on South Africans knowing the truth behind this shadow state.

The DA’s plan to fighting corruption like this includes establishing an independent unit dedicated to identifying, fighting and prosecuting corruption. Our agenda for change also intends to bring in direct elections for all political office holders so that the South African people can hold their Mayors, Premiers and President directly accountable.

The DA will fight corruption to ensure that all money is spent on the people and if voted into government, will ensure that anyone found guilty of corruption will be sentenced to 15 years in jail. The ANC is the same old part full of empty promises and rewarding their failure to fight corruption won’t change anything.

Our Constitutional democracy will not survive another quarter century of state capture. Jacob Zuma’s continued denial of its mere existence drastically increases the risk of a circulation of ANC capture through different actors.

The ANC, as arch architects of corruption and state capture, must appear before this Commission and tell South Africans the truth.

DA lawyers request State Capture Commission confirm 12 ANC witnesses

Our lawyers have written to Secretary of the Commission into State Capture, Dr Khotso De Wee, requesting confirmation that Gwede Mantashe, Jessie Duarte, Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa, Mosebenzi Zwane, Malusi Gigaba, Des van Rooyen, Lynne Brown, Tom Moyane, Arthur Fraser, David Mahlobo, and David Mabuza will be called to give testimony before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

The DA’s complaints against all 12 of these ANC members are a matter of public record and need to be thoroughly investigated. Considering information in the public domain and testimony already heard before the Commission, their testimony is material in allowing the Commission to fulfil its mandate.

Testimonies before the Commission have made it clear that the ANC knew full well that state capture was underway and did absolutely nothing to stop it from happening.

As recently as Tuesday, Mantashe and Duarte were implicated by the testimony given on behalf of Standard Bank at the hearing. While fellow ANC top 6 member and Deputy President, David Mabuza, is three years overdue coming clean about his 2015 trip to Moscow on a Gupta owned aircraft when Premier of Mpumalanga.

Former President Jacob Zuma has been directly implicated in allegations by testimony before the Commission, but while the Commission has requested he submit an affidavit to the Commission, it is not clear whether he will be called to testify in person.

The Gupta’s siphoning of hundreds of millions intended for farmers in the Estina Dairy Farm project has not yet led to any real accountability. Former Mineral Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, needs to attest to his involvement in this large-scale looting when Free State Agriculture MEC. It is also critical that former SSA Director General, Arthur Fraser, reveal whether he used the SSA as a bulwark against threats to state capture.

For eight years, the ANC’s Parliamentary majority have shielded the guilty from any real accountability, while state capture continued at Luthuli House, the Union Buildings, Mineral Resources, Home Affairs, Finance, SOEs, SARS, and the SSA. Because ANC capture is the protagonist of state capture.

The ANC must face the music for their leading role in state capture and its senior leadership must testify before the Commission.

An agenda for change to build One South Africa For All rests on South Africans knowing the truth. These 12 ANC members know the truth behind the state capture project and South Africa deserves a Commission that will call them as witnesses to shine light on the proceedings.


Ramaphosa must explain appointment of Mabuza as envoy to Russia

The DA notes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment of Deputy President, David Mabuza, as his special envoy to Russia.

With this appointment, it appears Ramaphosa is following former President Jacob Zuma’s lead after he appointed former Energy and Intelligence Minister David Mahlobo as his liaison to Russia.

That culminated in the revamping of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to try and “force in nuclear”. The ANC government has irrationally pursued nuclear for a long period of time, beginning with the signing of the controversial intergovernmental agreements linked to the R1.2 trillion nuclear deal.

Parliament was told in March that Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet was reconsidering the IRP. Ramaphosa himself even stated that we have no money to go for a nuclear plant build programme at the World Economic Forum in January this year.

This appeared to signal a rejection of any Nuclear Deal which Zuma has been pushing for, but the President’s latest move suggests otherwise.

It is important that Ramaphosa sheds light on his appointment of Mabuza to this new role and the brief that he has been given as this could likely determine whether South Africa adopts an expensive nuclear energy build as part of the IRP.

The country cannot afford nuclear energy and the DA supports cleaner and cheaper alternatives as part of the country’s energy mix.

DA requests SIU investigation into sale of Strategic Fuel Stocks

The DA has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, requesting that he proclaim an urgent Special Investigation Unit (SIU) investigation into the illegal sale of South Africa’s strategic fuel stocks at below-market prices.
It is estimated that it would cost South Africa R5.6 billion, at the current exchange rate, to replace the 10.3 million oil barrels which have already been sold.
Minister of Energy, David Mahlobo, told the Energy Portfolio Committee this week that an investigation initiated by the Department into the sale had been halted due to what he called a “shoddy” report he had received on the matter.
We do not believe it is appropriate for a minister to institute an inquiry and then have the power to accept or reject the report that follows from it. For all we know, Minister Mahlobo has rejected the report because it implicates high-ranking politicians and political allies in wrongdoing.
Indeed, the law firm that conducted the inquiry on behalf of the Department of Energy – Allen & Overy – have stated publicly that they stand by their report.
We also know – through a leaked copy of the report published in the media last year – that it found the sale to be irregular as it was concluded without concurrence from Treasury, the Board of the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) and the Central Energy Fund (CEF).
Significantly, the report also found that SFF executives had liaised directly with former Energy Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, instead of going through its own board.
It is therefore deeply suspicious that Joemat-Pettersson told Parliament in 2016 that the offloading of oil reserves was simply a rotation of stock and not a sale. She was later contradicted by her successor, Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, who confirmed that the stocks were in fact sold.
There is something rotten at the heart of the sale of our strategic oil reserves. It would be a profound lapse in public accountability if we allow the investigation into it to live or die according to the whims of Minister Mahlobo.
Instead, we need an independent body to fully investigate the sale.  The SIU is well-placed to this in line with its mandate to investigate serious malpractice relating to state institutions, state assets and public money.
President Ramaphosa has made some big noises about fighting corruption, and we, therefore, call on him to initiate an independent SIU investigation without delay.

Nuclear Deal: Ramaphosa must stop the gazetting of the Integrated Resource Plan

Minister Gigaba’s Budget Speech, which contained no funding for a new nuclear build, should signal the death knell of the nuclear deal.
The time has come for Minister Mahlobo to accept that his attempt to deliver the nuclear deal has failed. With Zuma gone, he has outlasted his usefulness and should be removed from Cabinet without delay.
The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), that was apparently approved by the Zuma Cabinet in December, left the door open for a new nuclear build. This was despite every credible study rejecting new investment in nuclear as part of the IRP and recommending investment in renewables and gas instead.
We call on President Ramaphosa to put a stop to the gazetting of Mahlobo’s IRP. Instead, Minister Mahlobo should be removed from office and a new Minister appointed to ensure that the new IRP is based on the latest cutting-edge modelling and research.
In an ideal world, the Department of Energy should:

  1. Appoint an independent entity to do the technical modelling work, such as the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR);
  2. Let that entity determine the latest least cost electricity mix up to 2050 and make that the base case;
  3. Let that entity calculate the cost implications of certain policy decisions that might deviate from the base case;
  4. In parallel, have the findings and the model independently reviewed by an additional expert party;
  5. Hold a proper and meaningful public consultation on the basis of the aforementioned costed base case and the costed deviations from the base case;
  6. Centred on that, decide on policy adjustments (if any) and publish the final IRP.

Given that a large amount of work has already been completed by the department, CSIR and Eskom on these points, we would suggest that Eskom and the CSIR provide its technical work and least-cost scenarios to the department that would then compile a condensed version of the IRP. This condensed least-cost IRP would then be provided to the public and energy committee for comment and once that has been completed, a final version can be sent to the Cabinet for approval. We cannot afford to waste time as the energy sector requires clarity and direction on energy policy as soon as humanly possible.
We need an IRP that favours clean, reliable energy at the lowest cost. We don’t need a nuclear deal and, as Minister Gigaba has made clear, we cannot afford it. So let’s shut the door on this corrupt nuclear deal once and for all.

Renewal requires a leaner, capable Cabinet

I congratulate President Ramaphosa on his commitment to a smaller and more capable Executive. I welcome reports that the President has heeded our calls for a smaller, less wasteful Cabinet. We believe it is entirely possible for the Executive to function even more effectively with a Cabinet of around 15 Ministers.
Now is also the time to make the Cabinet more capable by removing those Ministers who have failed the country over the past few years. President Ramaphosa should use the imminent reshuffle of the Zuma Cabinet as an opportunity to effect deep cuts to the profligacy and waste of the bloated Cabinet, and to rid the Cabinet of many of the people who propped up Zuma for so long.
A new era of hopefulness and renewal cannot be achieved with the same people who were at the centre of nearly every Jacob Zuma scandal. The following Zupta Ministers should be relieved of office:

  • Malusi Gigaba has, after Zuma himself, done the most damage to the economy. Whether naturalising the Guptas whilst Home Affairs Minister or facilitating the capture of state owned entities as Public Enterprises Minister and putting them in the hands of the Guptas, he is long overdue for being fired. More immediately, to have him present the Main Budget on Wednesday would undermine President Ramphosa’s ‘new broom’ spirit and the credibility of his turnaround plan;
  • Mosebenzi Zwane brought the mining industry to its knees with policy designed to maximise looting. Whether as the Mining Minister who oversaw the sale of Optimum Coal Mine to the Guptas, or as the MEC for Agriculture in the Free State who conceived and enabled the Vrede Dairy Farm heist of R200 million of public money;
  • Lynne Brown has presided over the near death of Eskom. As someone who protected Gupta appointees on boards, did the Gupta’s will, helped them loot millions from the public purse and lied in her testimony during the Eskom inquiry about having met the Guptas;
  • David Mahlobo allowed Zuma’s parallel mafia state to flourish. He is the Minister who did his best to rush through Zuma’s nuclear deal with the Russians, the Minister of State Security who was closely associated with rhino horn trade, oversaw the signal jamming in the 2015 SONA and is close to convicts and gangsters;
  • Bathabile Dhlamini is responsible for the ongoing social grants crisis that continues to put millions of recipients and the country at severe risk and another key Zuma lackey and cheerleader;
  • Nomvula Mokonyane has cleaned out the Department which is now practically crippled under the weight of corruption, incompetence and maladministration. Minister Mokonyane has deployed corporate warlord, Dudu Myeni, to head up the Umgeni and Mhlathuze waterboards, and showed disdain for the true state of the economy in her flippant comment about “picking up” the Rand;
  • Faith Muthambi oversaw the near-destruction of the SABC as Communications Minister. Minister Muthambi allowed Hlaudi Motsoeneng to run the SABC like his personal fiefdom and was found to be incompetent and guilty of misleading Parliament, which is a criminal offence; and
  • Des van Rooyen is another Gupta stooge who deliberately misled Parliament about his meetings with the Guptas. Minister van Rooyen was prepared to be the mechanism through which the keys to Treasury could be handed to the Guptas.

President Ramaphosa has an opportunity to demonstrate his true commitment to what he said on Friday night by ridding the Executive of those Ministers whose presence in the government has only ever been a source of scandal and failure.
The promise of ‘renewal’ requires that Malusi Gigaba, Mosebenzi Zwane, Lynne Brown, David Mahlobo, Bathabile Dhlamini, Nomvula Mokonyane, Faith Muthambi and Des van Rooyen be relieved of office as soon as possible.

Hawks raids cannot end with Guptas and must be extended to implicated Ministers

The DA welcomes the ongoing reports that the Hawks are swooping in on the Gupta brothers, beginning with an early morning raid on the family compound in Saxonwold.
However, this is 6 months overdue and if any incriminating evidence has been found at the residence, it would be by accident as the compound would likely have been cleared out months ago.
The Gupta brothers must face up to the allegations of corruption and their involvement in the State Capture.
The investigations and action simply cannot end here and must continue to all those implicated, including key Ministers, such as Mosebenzi Zwane, Des van Rooyen, Lynn Brown, David Mahlobo. Theytoo must answer the allegations and be arrested and prosecuted if needs be.
The Hawks must also ensure that ANC Secretary General, Ace Magushule is thoroughly investigated for his alleged role in relation to the Vrede dairy farm project,in which R10m allegedly went directly to Atul Gupta.
Although the wheels of justice have moved slowly until recently, the raids this morning are a step in the right direction. We cannot however lose momentum. The country’s crime-fighting bodies must push ahead to ensure all those implicated in stealing from the people of South Africa are investigated and held accountable.

Mahlobo rushes nuclear plan in time for ANC Conference

It is reported that Cabinet approved a new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) – which will open the door for nuclear procurement – on Wednesday 6 December.
It is bizarre and highly irregular that no official Cabinet announcement was made last week.
This hasty approval of the IRP under the cover of darkness is a full three months before the February 2018 deadline set by former Minister Kubayi, and without the second round of public participation that was promised.
The rush to approve the IRP cements perceptions that new Energy Minister David Mahlobo was appointed to fast track the nuclear deal. And rumours that money has already changed hands with Russian bidders will only intensify.
It is telling that Cabinet has approved the new IRP just before the ANC’s Conference set to take place on 16-20 December.
Zuma, who is believed to be under pressure from the Russians, is clearly worried that a new ANC leadership (and potentially a new Cabinet) may have other ideas when it comes to nuclear. He wants to make it as difficult as possible for any potential successor to put a halt to nuclear procurement.
No rational government would push for the procurement of new nuclear power stations in our current circumstances. Indeed, all reputable studies have shown that we do not need to build new nuclear power stations and that we cannot afford to do so.
The government’s own Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has concluded that the lowest cost for any new investment in the energy sector is a blend of solar, wind and gas – with no nuclear. Even Eskom’s latest modelling confirms that the unconstrained least-cost scenario does not include any new nuclear power.
The truth is that new nuclear procurement has nothing do with the best interests of South Africa, and everything to do with the greed of those set to benefit from a corrupt trillion rand deal.
The South African people have suffered the effects of state capture for long enough. The DA will do everything in its power to stop corrupt and unaffordable nuclear procurement.
We are therefore in the process of consulting our legal team to assess whether the new IRP has been approved lawfully, and what steps can be taken in this regard.

“Oilgate”: DA requests Mahlobo to halt R2.1 million gratuity to Joemat-Pettersson

The DA has today written to Energy Minister, David Mahlobo, requesting him to suspend his Department’s R2.1 million “once-off-gratuity” to former Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.
[Details of the R2.1 million payout in the adjusted budget of the Department of Energy can be found here]
We believe that this R2.1 million payment should not proceed at least until such a time that Ms. Joemat-Pettersson is cleared of wrongdoing for the sale of South Africa’s strategic oil reserves in December 2015.
It would be wrong to give former Minister Joemat-Pettersson a R2.1 million golden handshake when she personally authorised the unlawful sale of our oil stocks at bargain basement prices.
The cost of this dodgy deal is estimated to have cost the public purse in the region of R2 billion.
Joemat-Pettersson authorised the sale of the oil reserves without the concurrence of then Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, as required by the Central Energy Fund Act.
What is more, Minister Joemat-Pettersson appeared to have lied to Parliament about the sale in 2016, claiming it was a mere “rotation of stock”.
Minister Mahlobo recently admitted that the sale of our oil stocks is going to cost the government a great deal of money, and appears committed to investigating the illegality of the sale by the end of December this year.
There is a chance that Joemat-Pettersson will be criminally and financially liable for this unlawful deal. It would therefore be prudent for Minister Mahlobo to place a moratorium on any gratuity to Joemat-Pettersson until the investigation is concluded.