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.

 

Eskom must confirm whether Brian Molefe has repaid his “golden handshake”

The Chairperson of the Eskom Board, Jabu Mabuza, must confirm whether disgraced former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe, has paid back the part of the “golden handshake” he received from the power utility.

On 17 April, Mr Molefe lost an appeal to pay back around R11 million he had received from Eskom as part of his ridiculous R30 million pension pay-out.

The court ordered that Mr Molefe pay back the money.

The 10-day deadline given by the court has now come and gone. Eskom must now confirm whether he has in fact paid back the money.

If not, Eskom must detail what steps they have taken or will be taking to ensure the millions have been recovered from Mr Molefe.

In 2016, both the Former Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown and the previous Eskom Board acknowledged Molefe’s resignation. In fact, subsequent to his resignation, he took up another position as an ANC Member of Parliament where he served on the Portfolio Committees on Economic Development and International Relations and Cooperation.

Thus, Molefe’s ridiculous assertion that he remained an Eskom employee following his departure from the utility, is simply untrue.

All the facts point towards Mr Molefe’s contract with Eskom having ceased and he has no right to such an exorbitant pension pay-out. The court confirmed this.

Eskom has a duty to inform the public whether Mr Molefe has returned the millions he was not entitled to receive, and the court ordered him to repay.

DA welcomes dismissal of Brian Molefe “golden handshake” appeal

The DA welcomes the dismissal of former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe’s, appeal against the ruling in January 2018 that he pay back the part of theR11 million pension pay-out he had already received.

It was clear to the DA that Mr Molefe’s preposterous application had no chance of success and the court was entirely correct to dismiss it.

Molefe’s insistence that his return to Eskom was not a reinstatement but a continuation of his contract is completely fictional. He had clearly resigned at the end of 2016, a fact which was acknowledged by both Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, and the then Eskom Board. He himself said that he was “stepping down” and then took up a position in Parliament.

He is therefore not entitled to extravagant pension benefits, whether R11 million or more.

This ruling is not the end of Molefe’s worries however as the DA has laid criminal charges against Molefe and it is now time for the NPA to step up and prosecute him to the full extent of the law.

Public Protector finds Lynne Brown guilty of misleading Parliament

Following a complaint by the DA, the Public Protector has found Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown guilty of misleading Parliament, when she failed to disclose if there had been any contracts of engagement between Eskom and Gupta-linked, Trillian.
The report has now given President Cyril Ramaphosa 14 days to take action against the Minister after it found that Brown had violated the Executive Ethics Code.
Minister Brown, in response to a DA parliamentary question, denied that there had been an agreement between Eskom and Trillian. However, AmaBhungane, later established that either Trillian or a subsidiary company had, at the time of the reply, already invoiced Eskom for R266 million.
The complaint has now found Minister Brown guilty of misleading Parliament and contravening the Executive Ethics Code.
The DA urges President Cyril Ramaphosa to act swiftly against the Minister and immediately fire her from his Cabinet.
If the President is truly committed to building a government that is beyond reproach, he must immediately remove anyone who is found guilty of unethical behaviour from his Cabinet.
Minister Brown has acted for far too long with utter impunity. It was under her watch that Eskom and our other parastatals were virtually financially ruined and ethically ruined. Her time has finally come to face the music.
The Public Protector’s finding is a victory for all those who have fought bravely against State Capture.

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.

Minister Brown may have lied under oath about documents being destroyed at Eskom

The DA notes reports today that Eskom has been subpoenaed by the Hawks, in order to force the utility to hand over crucial documents pertaining to the Judicial Commission into State Capture. However, the power utility has today admitted that certain documents, that contain crucial evidence, have been shredded.

Early last year the DA warned the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, that Eskom was in the process of destroying key documents and correspondence, when the DA called on the Minister to investigate and confirm these allegations she dodged and avoided her responsibility.

The DA has reason to believe that the Minister avoided telling the truth, perhaps deliberately, when she appeared before the Public Enterprises Committee as well as the Parliamentary Inquiry into State Owned Entities, that Eskom was allegedly destroying key documentation.

The Minister has a responsibility to investigate allegations brought forward by Members of Parliament. If she failed to investigate these warnings, she failed in her duty.

The DA will now explore possible charges of perjury against the Minister, if she was indeed aware of any wrongdoing and kept it quite or lied under oath before Parliament.

The DA also calls on Eskom to identify which documents have been destroyed and to cooperate with the Hawks in identifying whoever is responsible for the destruction of the documents.

The wheels are now finally turning for all those who had a hand in the capture of our government. Whether it was looting from our state coffers or destroying key evidence, the DA will ensure that they all have their day in court.

DA welcomes Brain Molefe “golden handshake” judgement

The DA welcomes the judgement handed down this morning by the North Gauteng High Court, ordering Brian Molefe to pay back the R11 million pension pay-out he received from Eskom.

The ruling today was a victory for the South African public and should serve as a warning for all those who have been involved or implicated in corruption at state-owned enterprises.

Further, the DA welcomes the Court’s findings that the pension agreement between Eskom and Molefe was invalid; Eskom’s decision to grant Molefe a pension be set aside; that Molefe did indeed resign; that his reinstatement be set aside; and that Molefe was not entitled to a pension.

The DA has long held the view that Molefe’s insistence that his return to Eskom was not a reinstatement but a continuation of his contract was unjustifiable and untrue.

The truth is that Molefe left Eskom under a cloud of controversy and corruption allegations. He was one of the architects of the capture of Eskom and he does not deserve a single cent of taxpayers’ money.

The Court ruling is another damning indictment on the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, as it was under her watch that Molefe almost got away with ransacking Eskom’s pension fund. The Court itself said that “the Minister and Eskom acted irrationally in ignoring the damning allegations in the Public Protector’s report”.

Molefe has been given 10 days to back the R11 million and the DA will keep a close eye to ensure that he pays back every single cent.

This ruling is not the end of Molefe’s worries. The DA has in the past laid criminal charges against Molefe and it is now time for the NPA to step up and prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.

DA parliamentary questions show total collapse of state-owned enterprises under Minister Brown

It is increasingly evident that under the stewardship of the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, South Africa’s state-owned entities are in crisis. In a recent reply to a parliamentary question asked by Henro Kruger MP, the Minister has revealed shocking mismanagement and a complete lack of oversight at our state-owned entities.

In her reply, Brown indicated that the Department currently owes over R1.532 billion to its suppliers. Moreover, a total of 61 063 invoices have not been paid within the prescribed 30 days after an invoice has been submitted – the main culprits being Denel, Transnet and ESKOM, that owe an appalling R688 million, R728 million and R102 million respectively.

The shocking figures point to nothing other than a complete lack of oversight at National level and gross mismanagement at the entity level, both spearheaded by the Minister. This failure has a direct consequence for small businesses which deal with the Department as they are worst affected, often facing closure as a result of by late payments by government departments.

The DA will write to the Chairperson of the Public Enterprises Committee to invite Entity heads and the Department of Public Enterprises to account before the Committee for late payments and to provide concrete steps to remedy the crisis. The failure of our state-owned entities must be placed squarely at the feet of the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown. Under her watch our state-owned entities have disintegrated due to corruption and gross mismanagement – it is now our duty to act decisively to rescue them from further ruin.