Public Protector agrees to meet DA on a number of pressing issues

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is pleased that the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has acceded to a request for a formal meeting to discuss a number of pressing matters linked to her office, and the performance of her constitutional mandate to investigate misconduct by government departments and entities and to protect the public’s interest. The meeting has been set down for Monday, 13 November 2017.
DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, will be raising the followings matters, among others:

  • Why she has not yet released the report into the Vrede Dairy Farm, which has been sitting on her desk for almost six months.
  • Whether she has ever met with any members of the Gupta family, in any capacity whatsoever, and if so, what circumstances necessitated such a meeting;
  • The latest developments with regards to the new “preliminary investigation” into State Capture, which was announced on 15 June 2017. The investigation aims to determine the merits of several allegations of corruption and unlawful enrichment emanating from the infamous “Gupta Leaks”;
  • The progress on a number of ongoing investigations following complaints by the DA over the past 12 months. These include the following:

o   Investigation into Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Des Van Rooyen, for allegedly misleading Parliament and the public regarding his visit to the Gupta’s family home in Saxonwold;
o   Investigation into former acting Eskom CEO, Mr Matshela Koko, for allegedly awarding a R1 billion contract to his step-daughter while at Eskom;
o   Investigation into the R30 million pension payout to former Eskom CEO Brain Molefe, allegedly authorised by Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown;
o   Investigation into Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, for allegedly misleading Parliament when she failed to disclose if there had been any contracts of engagement between Eskom and Gupta-linked company Trillian Capital Partners;
o   Investigation into former Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba and the naturalisation of, and issuing of visas to, members of the Gupta family;
o   Investigation into Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, and former Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane for the misuse of state resources in providing VIP protection to Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma; and
o   Investigation into the alleged breach of the Ethics Code and the Power, Privileges and Immunities Act by Mineral Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, for willfully misleading Parliament by failing to disclose his personal interests pertaining to the Guptas;
o   Clarity regarding the allegation that she concealed submissions received from Black First Land First about her investigation into the apartheid-era bailout of Bankorp by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB); and
o   What her plan of action is regarding those who are actually pulling the strings when it comes to State Capture – including President Zuma, several of his cabinet ministers, and the Gupta family. To date, the real architects and technicians of State Capture have escaped unscathed, while board members, senior executives, and government officials have been used as scapegoats.
We look forward to engaging the Public Protector on the above matters and trust that she will make available all necessary information.
The role of the Public Protector is integral to the proper functioning of our democracy, and now more than ever, we desperately need a Public Protector who is wholly committed to fighting for the people of South Africa – by tackling State Capture and corruption in all its forms.

Willing buyer, willing sellout

The following remarks were made today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, at protest against State Capture by the Gupta’s and Jacob Zuma. Maimane was joined DA National Spokespersons, Refiloe Nt’sekhe and Phumzile van Damme, and DA Regional Chairperson, Khume Ramulifho.
Fellow democrats,
Today we are gathered here in Saxonwold to protest the capture of our country by Jacob Zuma, his ANC, and the Gupta Family.
Our message is clear: we reject the capture of our country by the rich and the corrupt, and we want real change. South Africa needs a new beginning, ushered in by a new government committed to fighting for the poor and the jobless, not the rich and the connected few.
We need a new government that is committed to our nation’s new struggle – the struggle for access to jobs.
And we demand accountability! The justice system must do its work so that those who have robbed our country are put behind bars.
Fellow South Africans,
Just a few hundred metres down the road from here is the Gupta’s mansion – the very site were Jacob Zuma and his ANC government were captured, and where they sold our country to the highest bidder.
Today we had planned to march to the gates of the mansion, to show South Africa what Jacob Zuma’s capture site really looks like.
But when they heard we were coming, the Guptas ran to their lawyers, who threatened to take us to court.
What do the Gupta’s have to hide? And why are they scared of us?
The truth is, they don’t want South Africa to see Jacob Zuma’s real capture site!
Just 24 hours ago, President Jacob Zuma attended the official unveiling of a multimillion rand monument in his honour, just outside of the small town of Groot Marico in the North West Province.
The monument, according to the President, was erected to commemorate the 1963 arrest of over 50 members of Umkhonto we Sizwe, who were en route to Botswana to take part in military training. Jacob Zuma was one of the members who were arrested.
At the entrance of the newly sprung monument stands an official sign which reads “Jacob Zuma’s Capture Site”.
Anyone who has picked up a newspaper, turned on a radio, or watched the evening news over the past year knows that there is a new “Jacob Zuma capture site” here in Saxonwold.
It is behind the high walls, electric fencing, and stringent private security of the Guptas mansion where many important decisions affecting our country are made. Where ministers are appointed and fired, where government contracts are signed, where national budgets are written, and where policy is decided.
Every decision made there is made guided by one criteria: make Jacob Zuma, his friends, and the Gupta rich.
The Gupta mansion is not only the capture site of Jacob Zuma, but several Cabinet Ministers too, including Malusi Gigaba, Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane, Des Van Rooyen; as well as numerous top executives at State-Owned Entities such as Eskom, Transnet and Prasa.
The Gupta mansion is the real capture site of Jacob Zuma, and the headquarters of corruption in South Africa. How sad that a young man in 1963 willing to risk his life for a free South Africa, has allowed his own legacy to be defined by corruption and the selling-out of that struggle. Indeed, the struggle for democracy and freedom has been abandoned by Jacob Zuma and his ANC.
And while they get richer, South Africans are getting poorer.
Democrats, it has been months since the infamous “Gupta Leaks”, which implicate members of the Gupta family, the President, his cabinet, and senior officials and SOE executives. Yet they all walk free.
To this day, not one single person has been prosecuted for their crimes. We cannot continue to sweep this under the carpet. It’s time to fully expose the rot throughout government and the private sector.
It is vital that we establish a platform through which we can get to the very bottom of this matter. That is why I have called on the Speaker of Parliament to immediately establish an ad hoc committee into State Capture by no later than 31 October 2017. The Speaker has been put on notice, and if she fails to act, we will have no hesitation in approaching the Courts to ensure this matter is resolved.
You see, the Jacob Zuma of the past shares many similarities with the ANC of the past.
Both fought for freedom, both put the nation before self-interest, and in doing so, both won the trust and support of the majority of South Africans.
Today, like in the past, Jacob Zuma and the ANC share many similarities.
Both are captured by private interests, and operate for the benefit of itself and those connected few – instead of the country and its people.
Today the ANC, like Jacob Zuma, has resorted to divisive rhetoric and race-baiting to divide South Africa for its own selfish benefit.
And today, the ANC, like Jacob Zuma, has lost the trust and the support of the majority of South Africans. That is why come 2019, South Africans will use their power to vote out this corrupt ANC government at the ballot box, and choose a new beginning for our country.
The future of South lies in a post-ANC South Africa, free from corruption and State Capture, and focused on our nation’s new struggle – the struggle for access to jobs. Our fight is to ensure that all South Africans can enter the economy, find meaningful work, and create a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

Gupta Hijack of Home Affairs: Major Kobese must appear before committee

The latest revelations in the media relating to the #Guptaleaks email saga alleging that Ashu Chawla, COO of the Gupta-controlled Sahara Computers, used his connections at the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to secure preferential treatment on the processing of visas for Gupta friends and relatives in India is a further example of the undue influence that the Guptas and their lieutenants enjoyed.
Leaked Gupta-emails reveal that Mr Chawla used his contact in the DHA, Major Kobese, a Director of the foreign office coordination in the Department, to expedite various visa requests which could otherwise have taken time to be issued, had the normal processes been followed. In certain instances, the email trail shows Mr Chawla making demands for visas to be issued in the same day.
Given the allegations of undue influence, the DA will be writing to the Chair of the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee, Lemias Mashile, to ask that he calls Major Kobese to come and account for his actions. In allowing undue influence from private interests to influence his professional conduct, Mr Kobese may have violated the code of conduct for Public Servants which require that employees serve the public in an unbiased and impartial manner in order to create confidence in the Public Service.
The latest revelations are yet another example of the undue influence that the Gupta family was permitted, via their close relationship with the President, to exert over government departments.
The actions of Mr Chawla constitute undue interference in the administrative affairs of the DHA. Using contacts in the DHA to arrange or expedite visa processing, if done in an unlawful manner, could constitute the offence of corruption under the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act. The officials that assisted in this regard may additionally be guilty of offences in terms of section 49(5) of the Immigration Act.
The National Prosecuting Authority cannot continue to turn a blind eye to such brazen violations of the law by the Guptas and their associates. Confidence in the government’s ability to combat corruption must be restored as a matter of urgency, and the infractions of Ashu Chawla and Major Kobese should be a viewed with the seriousness they deserve.
The DA remains committed to ensuring that our state institutions are liberated from the toxic influence of the Guptas and their associates.

New leaked emails show up Eskom CFO as a Gupta proxy

The DA will be submitting an affidavit to the South African Police Service to include Mr Anoj Singh, the current Eskom CFO, in the charges of corruption and racketeering the DA laid on Tuesday 30 May against President Jacob Zuma, members of the Gupta family, several cabinet ministers and senior executives of State Owned Entities.
A chain of leaked emails in the DA’s possession reveal that Singh was whisked off on at least four suspiciously-timed Gupta-funded trips to Dubai during the period Transnet awarded a R1.8 billion tender to Neotel, resulting in a R36 million kickback to a Gupta company.
Singh was the Transnet CFO at the time.
The email chain indicates that under then-Transnet CEO Brian Molefe, Singh travelled to Dubai on at least four occasions while this R1.8 billion contract was awarded to the Gupta’s preferred bidder, Neotel.
Each trip appears to have been fully paid for by Gupta-owned company, Sahara Computers, which included five-star luxury accommodation at the Oberoi Hotel.
It was clear that the Guptas needed Neotel to win the contract as Gupta-run company, Homix, had a deal in place with Neotel agreeing to secure the contract with Transnet for them in exchange for the payment of 2% of the value of the contract – which totalled a kickback of R36 million.
This was the second agreement Homix and Neotel had struck, with the previous kickback resulting in a R30 million profit for the Guptas.
The timeline of Mr. Singh’s Dubai trips is as follows:

  • 6 – 9 June 2014: Singh travelled to stay at the Oberoi Hotel in Dubai with Rajesh (Tony) Gupta. This was during the time where the bidding process was open, and no preferred bidder accepted. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 7 – 12 August 2014: Singh travelled again to the Oberoi Hotel in Dubai. It seems not just coincidence that it was during this month that Transnet notified Neotel that it was the new preferred bidder. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 7 – 9 November 2014: Singh travels to Dubai again, staying at the Oberoi Hotel once more. Weeks later, Neotel was awarded the contract concerned, worth R 1.8 billion, and paid Homix the amount of R 41 million. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 24 – 26 February 2015: Once the R36 million was successfully paid to the Guptas, Anoj Singh was treated to a celebratory luxury trip to Dubai, once again in the five-star Oberoi, on the Guptas’ tab. (See booking confirmation here).

It is our view that this revelation directly implicates Mr. Singh, and as such charges must be brought against him. It is also impossible that this arrangement took place without Brian Molefe being aware.
This revelation shows quite vividly how the Jacob Zuma state capture project has infected all spheres of the state, and corrupt individuals are working to ensure a small group of connected individuals become rich. We will not stop until every individual involved in the capture of our state is brought to book.
Zuma and his friends cannot continue to steal from our people. We must earnestly focus South Africa towards building a prosperous nation, where jobs can be created for all.