Guptas and Myeni can run but they cannot hide

It has now been confirmed that neither the Guptas nor Dudu Myeni will appear, as requested, before the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises’ Inquiry into State Capture tomorrow as previously arranged. The Guptas have apparently flown the coop and are not in South Africa. Myeni claims she is still sick, we have yet to see the original doctor’s note.
This is a flagrant abuse of the committee’s politeness and an unacceptable disregard for Parliament and the Constitution under which this inquiry has been established and cannot be allowed to continue.
Tomorrow, the DA will request that the Guptas and Myeni are formally summoned to appear. Should they then ignore the summons and fail to account to Parliament, Section 17(1) of the Powers, Privileges, and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2004 states that “witnesses who fail to adhere to a summons commits an offence and is liable to a fine or to imprisonment of up to 12 months”.
Portfolio Committees are empowered by the Constitution to call any person they see fit. The fact that the Guptas and Myeni have failed to show up, while not surprising, displays their utter contempt for the Parliament of South Africa.
Last week, the Minister of Home Affairs also declined to appear on the date requested as he claimed he needed more time to prepare. He is now set to appear tomorrow but given his track record of ducking and diving, we will believe it when we see it.
State Capture has hollowed out key public institutions and robbed South Africa of billions of the people’s money. Those who may have been involved or who may have vital information must account to Parliament. Those who attempted what is now known to be one of the greatest heists of all time must know this: there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. No one is above the law.
The DA will not rest until the Guptas, Duduzane Zuma, Myeni and Salim Essa, at the very least, have appeared before the Committee and are ultimately held accountable for their role in state capture.

SAP internal probe findings do not absolve them from wrongdoing

The DA welcomes that the global software giant, SAP’s, internal investigation has found possible breaches in compliance practices and “indications of misconduct” pertaining to business contracts which involved the Guptas, Eskom and Transnet.
SAP has admitted that, although it did not pay monies to government officials or employees at state-owned entities, it had paid Gupta-linked intermediary companies over R90 million.
These findings are a welcome sign of accountability but do not absolve SAP from wrongdoing.
Last year, the DA laid charges of money laundering and corruption following allegations of R100 million in kickbacks changing hands between SAP and CAD House, a Gupta linked company.
The DA is of the belief that SAP seemingly tried to use the Guptas’ close connections within parastatals with a view to securing lucrative government contracts.
It’s simply not enough that these findings are made public, they must be acted on.
Given SAP’s admission of misconduct, they have a responsibility to cooperate with local and international authorities to ensure that those who had a hand in these dodgy dealings are held accountable and face criminal charges, including Minister Malusi Gigaba, who was the Public Enterprises Minister at the time.

Hawks must now prioritise an investigation into the Guptas R70 million tax refund

The DA notes the move by the Hawks and the South African Revenue Services (SARS) on arresting nine suspects linked to a VAT scam that has cost the economy R90 million.

We are encouraged by this move and hopeful that more similar arrests will take place soon.

The Hawks must do everything that is within their power in order to investigate and prosecute with equal diligence the Gupta proceeds, implicating them in a suspicious R70 million tax pay-out from SARS last year.

This includes obtaining the necessary court orders to gain access to information that is with SARS.

The DA urges Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, to ensure that the Hawks have all the necessary support that they need in this regard.

SARS paid this money into the bank account of Oakbay Investments. Normally, pay-outs are only paid into the account of the taxpayer and not into the account of the third party or proxy.

This was after South Africa’s major banks closed Gupta-linked accounts.

The DA finds the personal involvement by SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane, in intervening and securing the payment into the Gupta account far from regular.

SARS cannot be used to advance certain agendas for politicians and those who are politically connected such as the Gupta family.

The extent of corruption and State Capture by the Guptas has collapsed institutions and State-Owned-Enterprises, which has adversely impacted on the country’s economy and jobs.

That is why the Guptas must fully account for every cent that they have unduly benefitted by stealing the fruits of the hard labour of innocent South Africans.

Mbalula must show decisive leadership and offer both the Hawks and SARS all the necessary support needed to establish and expedite the investigation into R70 million Gupta tax refund.

Ace, Guptas, ANC will keep the people of FS poor; arrest them all

The following speech was delivered by the DA Free State Provincial Leader, Patricia Kopane during a march to the Premier’s Office. The Provincial Leader was joined by National Spokesperson, Refiloe Nt’sekhe, Provincial Chairperson, Annelie Lotriet, and Free State Caucus Leader, Roy Jankielsohn.

The Secretary General of the ANC and Premier of the Free State has never cared about ensuring that mothers are able to feed their babies, and the poor escape the cycle of poverty.

Dr Magashule, specialising in lying and looting, has only worked to make his friends, like the Guptas, rich while poor farmers from Vrede struggle to even put food on the table. Ace and the ANC have corrupted the Free State Provincial Government so that only family members are made millionaires overnight, while the poor go to bed hungry.

The ANC-led Free State is not a government for the people, it is a government for friends and family. If you do not have Ace on WhatsApp then you are going to continue living a life of poverty. If the Guptas do not know your name, you will never see a roof put over your head. If you aren’t the friends and family of Ace, the Guptas and the ANC then forget about the dignity of a job, forget about being protected from crime and corruption, forget about your children receiving a quality education.

When we talk about Ace using the people’s money for his family and friends, we must not forget that this is a man who sits next to ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa at Luthuli House. This shows that all that has changed at the ANC are the crooks who lead the party. Ramaphosa supported Zuma when he undermined the Constitution and captured the state. This is the same Ramaphosa who is too afraid to say the name “Gupta” – he has never said their name. Is he scared of dealing with corruption when it’s right in front of him? Maybe this is why he has said nothing about his friend Ace’s alleged corruption here in the Free State.

The reality is that the ANC, whether led by Zuma, Ace or Ramaphosa cannot be saved. The ANC is dead, and those who talk about its renewal are trying to raise a corpse from the dead, and are themselves corrupt. The only renewal taking place is a renewed energy to steal from the poor.

Magashule is not new to corruption, he’s a Doctor of Corruption and has had many years to perfect this sin.

In 1996, when he was MEC for Economics and Tourism, he was fired for using R6 million of your money to fly overseas trips; he behaved like a mashonisa by extending loans to his staff; he bought CDs and used this money to buy himself lunch.

Anything that Ace touches turns into corruption: RDP houses, the health crisis, the funeral of the late Health MEC, a website for the province. If I was to list them all, we would be here all day. But what I will say is that Ace and his friends have stolen millions, if not billions, from you.

This man cannot be trusted. A crook has been elected to lead this province and lead the ANC with Ramaphosa.

Fast forward and Ace has moved from stealing R6 million to R200 million. Why has he not been arrested?

Poor black farmers were used by Ace and Guptas as fronts to steal R200 million, which was then used to pay for the Guptas’ Sun City wedding and a private jet. Mosebenzi Zwane was also involved in the scheme designed to steal from the poor. Today, Zwane sits in Cabinet with Ramaphosa, instead of the jail cell he belongs in.

All of this has happened and continues to happen while Ramaphosa pretends to be fighting corruption. Deal with Ace and Zwane, Ramaphosa, and maybe we will believe that you are serious about corruption. They have stolen so much from the poor of the Free State and the country.

The truth is that the ANC only talks about fighting corruption, but does nothing because if they were to take corruption seriously there would be very few comrades left as Ministers, MECs, and Councillors. While Ramaphosa says nice things, the evil of corruption continues to rob our people.

Democrats, South Africans,

The Democratic Alliance is working hard to bring a new beginning and new government to the Free State but this starts with fighting corruption and sending corrupt politicians and their friends to jail. Ace, the Guptas and those in the ANC who have assisted them must all move from the back of luxury cars to the back of police vans.

Only the DA hits corruption head on. That is why we went to the Vrede Farm, with the Federal Leader Mmusi Maimane to see for ourselves what was stolen from the poor.

It is the DA that called on the Public Protector to investigate this matter so that those who have suffered, suffer no more. My colleague in the Legislature, Roy Jankielsohn, has pushed for the Legislature to take this matter seriously but they are dragging their feet.

We have asked for a motion of no confidence in Ace, because before he goes to Luthuli House full-time, he must be held accountable by the House that elected him. He must lose his pension and benefits that come with being a former Premier. He must go to jail!

Like the ANC has forgotten about you, you must forget about the ANC when you vote in 2019. We can arrest Ace but another corrupt politician from the ANC will replace him. We must remove this corrupt government like we removed a racist and corrupt government in 1994.

It is in your hands to give the Free State a new beginning.

Ace Magashule and his friends must be arrested for stealing R200 million from poor black farmers

I welcome the decision by the Hawks to finally take action against those responsible for stealing approximately R200 million from poor black farmers in Vrede, Free State.

Reports today confirm that the Hawks have begun a “search and seizure operation” relating to the Estina Dairy Farm project in Vrede – beginning with the office of Free State Premier, Ace Magashule. This is in order to find documents and information which would prove that Ace Magashule was involved in the siphoning of money away from the Vrede Dairy Farm project and into the pockets of ANC linked cadres, most notably the Guptas.

The question is – why haven’t the perpetrators been arrested? Comprehensive evidence proving wrongdoing already exists, and has been in the Hawks possession for over 6 months. Moreover, this evidence is enough to arrest the Guptas, Ace Magashule, Mosebenzi Zwane and other ANC-connected individuals.

In August last year I went to the Hawks Head Office in Tshwane to hand over a legal indictment containing over 200 pages of concrete prima facie evidence outlining in detail how this money was stolen from the poor black farmers, and provides sufficient evidence to support the criminal charges laid by the DA in this regard. DA Shadow Minister of Finance, David Maynier MP, laid criminal charges against several members of the Gupta family, their associates, and Minister Zwane. These charges include money laundering, racketeering, assisting another to benefit from the proceeds of unlawful activities, and acquiring, possessing or using the proceeds of unlawful activities in terms of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act 121 of 1998.

We now call on the Hawks to immediately seek warrants of arrest against the Guptas, Ace Magashule, Mosebenzi Zwane and all other implicated in this scandal.

It should make us all angry that instead of empowering those who are left out of the economy, the ANC government used black South Africans as a front for a calculated scheme of grand corruption and money laundering to benefit the Guptas and their friends in the ANC. Between the Guptas and the ANC government, economic opportunity was stolen from black South Africans.

The Vrede Dairy Farm project is a textbook case study of money laundering, collusion and corruption. We will not relent until those who stole money and opportunity from South Africans are brought to book.

Ramaphosa must ensure borders are put on high alert as Guptas are a flight risk

The Democratic Alliance calls on Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action today to ensure that borders and airports are put on alert in order to stop the Gupta family from trying to flee the country ahead of their reported imminent arrests. We should not allow them to leave South Africa, and certainly not with the assistance of government, like Omar al-Bashir was allowed to do.

Following reports that warrants of arrest are being prepared for at least one Gupta brother as well as a high-ranking politician, our borders should be urgently secured to prevent the Guptas from slipping through the net. It is unlikely that the Gupta family will sit and wait for their arrest. There is a strong possibility that they will attempt to flee the country, if they have not done so already.

Therefore, Ramaphosa should today confirm with Home Affairs Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo, whether the Guptas are still in the country and if so, must put all borders and airports on high alert as they are a flight risk.

Ramaphosa must ascertain from Minister Dlodlo the following without delay:

  • Determine the whereabouts of the persons for whom the warrants of arrest have been reportedly been issued;
  • Ensure that all exit points from South Africa are supplied with copies of the relevant arrest warrants;
  • Ensure that all exit points from South Africa are placed on high alert and instructed to execute arrest warrants on sight.

It is no secret that President Zuma is deeply compromised and implicated in this matter through his well-known relationship with the Guptas – and their joint State Capture efforts. When the President is compromised and unable to act in an impartial manner, the Deputy President as second in command, ought to take action in the best interests of the country,

This was highlighted by the Western Cape High Court last year, when the court ordered that the Deputy President must appoint the new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) as the President was compromised. The court said, on the facts at hand, it was “incongruous that, under those circumstances, President Zuma should be seen to be appointing an NDPP, since his conflict, both actual and perceived, is self-evident” and that “as long as the incumbent president is in office, the deputy president is responsible for decisions relating to the appointment, suspension or removal of the NDPP”.

The Deputy President has been extremely vocal in condemning State Capture and corruption. Therefore, as Deputy President of the country – and second in charge – Ramaphosa must act without delay.

The Guptas, along with President Zuma, must have their day in court for their role in the capture of the state. We call on South Africans who have information in this regard to come forward and alert the authorities on the whereabouts of the Guptas.

DA welcomes NPA’s action against Guptas

The DA welcomes that the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has taken action against the State Capture brothers, the Guptas, by serving a summons to preserve assists worth approximately R1.6 billion.

This is not as not as a result of Shaun Abrahams, who tried to stall, but as a result of pressure and hard work of the AFU team under Adv. Knox Molelle.

The DA has doggedly pursued those suspected of being involved in the project of State Capture with a number of us laying criminal charges against key individuals, which we trust assisted the Hawks and now the NPA in their investigations and decision to pursue the Gupta’s albeit rather delayed.

These charges included:

  • In September 2017, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone, laid criminal charges of fraud, racketeering and collusion against global consultancy firm, McKinsey, in terms of Section 21 of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act after it appeared that McKinsey allegedly ignored warnings from senior South African staff members, that the deals done with Trillian, Eskom and other Gupta-linked companies were not above board;


  • In July 2017, she also laid criminal charges against Eskom’s Chief Financial Officer, Anoj Singh, for breaches of Section 50 (1) of the Public Finance Management Act (PMFA) for his alleged role in the Guptas’ capture of Eskom through the Tegeta agreement and the Trillion contracts;


  • In the same month, Natasha Mazzone laid charges of charges of money laundering and corruption against the South African component of global software giant, SAP, and Gupta-affiliated company CAD House, following allegations of R100 million in kickbacks changed hands between the two companies;


  • In July 2017, David Maynier laid charges of money laundering, fraud, corruption, racketeering against Atul Gupta, Ajay Gupta, Rajesh Gupta, Ronica Ragavan and Kamal Vasram, in terms of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act and the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, following revelations that public funds were used to pay for Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia’s wedding at Sun City in 2013;


  • In July 2017, DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane and DA Shadow Minister of Finance, David Maynier MP, laid charges of in terms of the Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Activities Act, relating to the findings of the State Capture Report against the Gupta-family, President Jacob Zuma, Brian Molefe and Mosebenzi Zwane; and


  • In June 2017, I laid charges of money laundering, fraud, corruption, against the Gupta’s and their associates in relation to the Estina dairy farm matter.

This preservation order, to be served tomorrow, is only the first step in holding those responsible for looting the people’s money and we expect to see other such action against the President’s son, Duduzane Zuma, and the President himself so that they can be held accountable for their role in State Capture.

Our success in the Free State begins with good leadership

The following speech was delivered today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the party’s Free State Provincial Congress.
Delegates, Members, activists, staff,
Good morning, Molweni, Goeiemôre, Bagaetso.
It is great to be here in the Free State Province this morning, a province at the very heart of our nation – both geographically and politically.
Not too far from here, at Waaihoek Wesleyan Church in Manguang, the ANC was formed some 105 years ago. And today, 105 years on, the ANC is all but dead. And this is no more apparent in this province as it is anywhere else in the country.
The Free State Province represents a systemic failure of governance. The province has the highest unemployment rate in the country, unprecedented levels of poverty, and is a captured state run by the Guptas and their lackey, Ace Magashule.
It was here that the ANC was founded, and it is here where it is finished
Fellow Democrats, it is now up to us to usher in a new beginning.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am told our new Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, wants to take the DA to court for calling her a spy. It has taken her exactly a year to come to this decision. We welcome any opportunity to speak about her background and her ability to perform her job.
But we have other legal business with the Public Protector that predates this decision of hers by many months. We are still awaiting her report on the Estina Dairy Farm in Vrede, which was due more than six months ago.
In March this year, she stood in the Free State Legislature and told us that the investigation was complete and that the report would be released in April. Of course April came and went, and she promised us a new deadline. In July we were again told it would be out within days. It is now almost November.
I have it on good authority that the report has been lying on the desk of the Public Protector for months. It is also highly suspicious that all communication on this matter between her office and the DA in the Free State ended the moment the Gupta email leaks story broke which connected the Vrede farm money with the Gupta wedding. I can only assume this hard evidence has set the cat among the proverbial pigeons in her report.
The victims of this crime – the 80 farmers from the local community who were meant to benefit from the project but have been left stranded – cannot wait any longer for justice. And so I will be writing to the Public Protector on Monday to demand the release of the report within seven days, failing which we will seek a declarator from the court compelling her to do so.
I will also give the Chair of SCOPA, Themba Godi, one more opportunity to schedule a public hearing for the victims of this crime. If he again refuses, I will bring them to Parliament myself so that they can tell their story to the committee and demand answers.
Corruption is not a victimless crime. These are real people whose dreams have been crushed and whose lives have been put on hold, all because the friends of Zuma and Magashule saw a chance to steal more money. They will not get away with it.
Fellow Democrats,
If you were still in any doubt about the gravity of our country’s situation, then Wednesday’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement by the captured Minister Gigaba would have cleared that up. On our current trajectory we are heading for disaster, and our project to bring change cannot come a moment too soon.
Instead of reassuring us that our economy can be saved through fiscal discipline, strong action on our failing SOEs and an unambiguous rejection of the nuclear plan, Minister Gigaba left us with the message that he simply has no plan.
The numbers he gave us confirm what we already knew – that our country is headed for bankruptcy under this ANC government. He confirmed that our tax collection shortfall has rocketed to over R50bn. He confirmed that our gross national debt will shoot up to 60% of GDP by 2020. And by 2019, when President Zuma leaves office, our cost of servicing this debt will be three times what it was when he became president.
Minister Gigaba could only offer us unsustainable stop-gap measures to temporarily stave off disaster. But by dipping into our contingency funds and by selling off shares in our only viable state-owned enterprise to prop up failures like SAA, he is just speeding up the collapse. He is acting like someone who pawns his appliances to feed a harmful lifestyle.
That is why our task has just become so much more urgent. No one else is going provide an alternative. No one else – not inside the ANC or anywhere else – is going to steer our country away from the edge. It will fall to us with the help of our coalition partners. We are the bulwark against a complete economic and social collapse.
I don’t mean to alarm you more than you already are, but I cannot stress enough the importance of everything we do over the next 18 months. And that includes your business here today when you elect new provincial leadership. These decisions could have a major impact on our electoral performance, and you cannot afford to compromise at all.
If anyone has an idea of the dire path our country is on, it is you here in the Free State. Because this province, under the awful leadership of Ace Magashule, has become a scaled-down version of the Zuma administration. Same corrupt captors in the Guptas, same method of looting the state, same complete financial mismanagement and same seemingly untouchable Big Men at the helm.
We’ve known this all along, though. We knew, from the beginning, that Magashule and his then sidekick, Mosebenzi Zwane, were Gupta men through and through. We knew that the Vrede Dairy Project was nothing but a cash machine for this government and their Gupta friends. And all of this has now been confirmed in the hundreds of thousands of Gupta emails leaked to the media, including the Gupta links with Magashule’s son.
The result of this runaway corruption can be seen in every single aspect of government delivery here in this province. No department has escaped the damage.
Free State Health has all but collapsed, and doctors are leaving the province in droves. Free State Education has an R800 million overdraught. The province has a backlog of unregistered title deeds of over 63,000.  Collectively, Free State municipalities owe Eskom almost R5 billion.
The Free State also has the highest official unemployment rate in the country of 34.4% using the narrow definition, or 40.5% if you include those who have given up looking for work. This is a shameful statistic.
Attacks on farmers and farmworkers in the Free State are out of control, with more than 50 having occurred in the province this year alone. This echoes the crime stats released this month, which confirmed that murders have increased across all communities throughout the country. Surely it is time to reintroduce specialised rural safety units within SAPS.
This province is a time bomb, and we’re going to have to bring change very soon.
I know some people in South Africa are still holding out hope that this change will come from within the ANC. I understand how hard it must be for people who have grown up in the shadow of the party their entire life to accept the party’s demise and look elsewhere for solutions. These people cling to the hope that clearing out a few bad apples – the Zumas and the Gigabas and the Magashules – will set us back on course again.
I’m afraid that’s not going to happen. Because even if the party could find it within itself to get rid of these people, it would change neither the culture of the organisation nor its outcomes. Because no matter who you place at the head, the web of patronage and the culture of corruption has become so pervasive it infects everything they do.
While we’re all busy pouring over Minister Gigaba’s mini budget speech this week, I went and had a look at the mini budget speeches of the previous few years. And two things stand out as quite remarkable. One is that all three consecutive speeches were delivered by three different Finance Ministers. And the other is that if you cover up the names and dates, the same key message gets repeated year after year: “We did worse than we expected”.
In October 2015, Minister Nhlanhla Nene lamented that “growth is considerably lower in our economy than we projected”.
In October 2016, Minister Pravin Gordhan informed us that he’d had to again revise growth expectation for our economy “somewhat lower than the February estimates”.
And on Wednesday, Minister Gigaba told us that we’ve missed our tax collection target by R50 billion “due to lower than expected economic growth this year”.
The problem is not the personnel. The problem is the organisation. And that is why they are doomed.
My fellow Democrats,
Instead of gloating over the demise of our opponents, I want to use this as a very serious warning for our own party. Because everything that has befallen the ANC, could easily happen to us too.
The ANC’s woes come down to a “perfect storm” of issues – three major obstacles which, together, have had a calamitous effect on their party. The first is that they allowed corrupt and self-serving individuals to rise to the top of the party – Jacob Zuma, followed by the likes of Minister Gigaba.
The second is that they lost their ideological way and now find themselves adrift. No one knows if they’re nationalising or selling off assets. Should they bail out SAA or cut it loose? Will they go ahead with the nuclear build or abandon it? They have no direction.
And the third is that they allowed the organisation to die by letting a culture of patronage and crony politics dominate. This is now at such an advanced stage that it cannot be undone without completely rebuilding the party.
It’s a spectacular collapse, but if any of you think this is unique to the ruling party, then I want to wake you from this dream. The DA is not immune to this kind of organisational rot – not by a long shot. If we don’t constantly take stock of where we are, where we want to go and how we need to get there, we could easily find ourselves in the very same position.
We must guard against the very things that are tearing the ANC apart.
We must guard against politics of ego. Ours is not a party built on personality cults. Here in the DA no one is too important to get stuck in and do the ground work. We all campaign, we all go door to door, we all make ourselves visible in the community and we all contribute wherever we can. We’re 18 months away from the most important elections any of us have ever contested. We can rest afterwards.
We must guard against politics of patronage. If you have ambitions to use your position to dispense favours, jobs and contracts, then you are in the wrong party altogether. Ours is a party of service and selflessness. Our loyalty is to the people and the Constitution.
We must guard against the creep of nationalist language and ideas. No one in the DA speaks for or represents a particular racial group or culture, and we certainly don’t mobilise along these lines. Our vision of a free and open society is built on non-racialism, tolerance and embracing a diversity of ideas.
If we lose focus on any of these issues, we will be in trouble. It’s a slippery slope along which we will not easily recover.
When you cast your votes today to elect new leadership here in the Free State, I want you to remember who we are and what we stand for. And I want you to ensure that the people chosen to spearhead our project in this province are able to keep us on the right path.
I know we still have much work to do in the Free State, but we’re certainly heading in the right direction. The recent by-election results in ward 12 in Mangaung were hugely encouraging, where we grew from just 4.5% in 2016 to 18.5%. We now need to repeat this performance throughout the province, and what better place to start than next month’s municipal-wide by-election in Metsimaholo.
The budget vote debacle and subsequent dissolution of the Metsimaholo Municipality taught us some valuable lessons about coalition politics and trust. We need to ensure that we do not step into the same trap the second time round.
But more importantly, we must first run a successful by-election campaign there. Because the better we do ourselves and the less we need to rely on others, the easier it will be to continue our work for the people of Sasolburg, Deneysville, Kragbron and Oranjeville.
We have exactly one month left in which we need to reach every single one of Metsimaholo’s 79,000 voters. They need to know us, and they need to know what we will bring to government in the municipality. It will require a huge effort, but I assure you it will be worth all the blood, sweat and tears.
My fellow Democrats,
The people of the Free State need to see change here soon. And we, the DA, are that change. We must offer a complete break from the disaster that is Jacob Zuma’s ANC, and the disaster that is Ace Magashule’s ANC. And this begins with the people we choose to lead our organisation.
So cast your votes today with this in mind. And when you are done, then we will all stand behind the elected leaders and do whatever it takes to bring change to the people of the Free State.
Thank you.

DA to report Regiments for raiding workers’ pensions

The DA will write to the Financial Services Board (FSB) to request that they investigate Regiments Capital and their directors for possible breaches of the Financial and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act.
This follows the astonishing revelations that Regiments Capital, between December 2015 and April 2016, made unlawful payments of more than R500 million from the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund to Gupta-linked Trillian and Albatime.
The fund entered into a contract with Regiments to manage its assets in August 2014, which was later cancelled in September 2016.
The FAIS Act states that it is the responsibility of Financial Service Providers (FSP), such as Regiments, to “specify […] who supplies the products and give specific information [relating] to the nature and features of the products as well as the cost for the client in obtaining any product”.
Given that Regiments and its directors failed to disclose to whom and what the pension money was being invested in, it would appear to be a breach of the FAIS Act.
Thousands of Transnet workers, some of them already retired, spent their whole lives doing back-breaking work, only to have their hard-earned money essentially stolen by the greedy and corrupt Guptas and their henchmen.
Although the fund has laid charges against Regiments, Trillian and Albatime for these unlawful payments, Transnet is equally to blame for their complete negligence in this entire scandal.
There were no existing contracts or obligation for the fund to make any payments to either, Albatime or Trillian. Yet the money left the pension fund without anyone at Transnet noticing that these large sums of money were disappearing from the workers’ pension fund.
The DA, therefore, urges the FSB to also investigate the directors of Transnet’s pension funds.
At the end of the day, it was the responsibility of Transnet fund managers to perform their fiduciary duty and ensure proper oversight on every activity regarding the monies in the pension fund.
They failed in their duty, and must, therefore, be held accountable for their failure to protect the pensions of Transnet workers.
This is also not the first time Transnet has come under fire for alleged mismanagement of pension funds. In 2012, the Public Protector agreed to launch a preliminary investigation into alleged financial mismanagement of two Transnet pension funds, following a complaint from the DA.
The DA will not sit by quietly as those implicated in State Capture, raid the pension funds of our hardworking and dedicated workers.

Deputy-Minister Sifiso Buthelezi needs to clarify exactly what is going on at the PIC

The Deputy-Minister of Finance, Sifiso Buthelezi, suggests there is “no truth” to the claim that there is an attempt to remove Dr Dan Matjila, the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), at a special board meeting on Friday 15 September 2017.
However, reports  claim that:
• the Deputy Chairperson of the PIC, Xolani Mkwanazi, has written to the Dr Dan Matjila requesting him to respond to allegations concerning the funding of a project linked to a partner at a special board meeting tomorrow; and
• that the allegations are an attempt to remove Dr Dan Matjila from his position in order to crowbar a person, such as Brian Molefe, into the top job at the PIC.
The PIC’s board has a duty to deal with bona fide allegations of corruption but these allegations appear to amount to a “political hit”, not dissimilar to previous “political hits”, contained in the “Project Spider Web” dossier, which appears to have been designed to advance the interests of President Jacob Zuma, and his clients, the Guptas.
The Deputy Minister of Finance, Sifiso Buthelezi, who is also the Chairperson of the PIC, needs to act to protect the integrity of the institution, and to protect the savings of pensioners, by making a public statement clarifying exactly what is going on at the PIC.
We cannot sit back and allow President Jacob Zuma, and his number one clients, the Guptas, to get their hands on the R1.8 trillion under the management of the PIC.