DA calls on NPA to investigate Zuma for hiding millions belonging to Gaddafi

The Democratic Alliance notes reports in today’s papers indicating that there is evidence suggesting that former President Jacob Zuma had previously hidden millions of missing dollars belonging to the late Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, at his residence at Nkandla.

Reports state that Gaddafi’s money was hidden in Zuma’s homestead, before being moved secretly to the Kingdom of eSwatini earlier this year. The DA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to take the nation into his confidence and come clean about his involvement in the case of the missing millions. In addition, the President needs to aid in recovering these millions and to ensure that the National Prosecuting Authority holds Zuma accountable for his actions. According to the reports, President Ramaphosa seems to have intimate knowledge of the dodgy dealings by his predecessor.

The relevant authorities are certain that this fortune, amounting to an estimated R420 million, was being hidden in the Nkandla bunker – which former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was denied access to when she conducted an in loco inspection at the homestead.

It is completely unacceptable that Zuma remains free after aiding the late North African dictator and the NPA must act swiftly on these reports to ascertain their accuracy.

This missing money is of keen interest to several bodies, including the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and the United States Authorities. There are possible violations of sanctions associated with the money, as well as the contravention of foreign exchange controls.

The DA finds it appalling that it has subsequently surfaced that Zuma wanted the money because President Ramaphosa refused to pay for his legal fees. It is astounding to find that there are no limits to Zuma’s greed, or the lengths to which he will go to satisfy his insatiable thirst for money that does not belong to him.

The DA will continue in its fight against all degrees of corruption and state capture – and maintains that under a DA government, anyone found guilty of corruption will be jailed for 15 years.

Help us build a Police Service that can keep all South Africans safe

The following remarks were delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at the Dobsonville Police Station in Soweto, Gauteng. Maimane was joined by DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga, and Team One SA Spokesperson on Crime, John Steenhuisen

Fellow South Africans,

We live in a country of insiders and outsiders – of those with access to opportunities and wealth, and those who find themselves locked out of the economy by bad policy and poor leadership.

We see the outsiders all around us – millions of people without jobs, millions of people surviving on tiny social grants, millions of people who struggle to make a life below the poverty line. They have been let down and forgotten by a government that became distracted by greed and lost all touch with the people.

You can see this greed in the stories that are reported in the news – scandals like Bosasa, the Guptas, VBS and Nkandla. But it is often the less obvious “legalised” theft of public money through outrageous perks and privileges that really show how out of touch they are.

Take safety and our protection by the South African Police Service. This year the total police budget is almost R100 billion, which has to cover the protection of around 58 million people in our country. But not every South African is considered equal by this ANC government. Not even close.

Nearly R3 billion of this SAPS budget is spent on fewer than 300 so-called VIPs, which works out to more than R10 million per person per year. Compare this with the amount spent on ordinary South Africans, which is just over R1600 per person per year, and you get a sense of the gap that exists between the political elite and the people they are meant to serve.

Nowhere is this gap more obvious than in the under-resourcing of SAPS stations in poor areas with high crime rates. This police station here in Dobsonville has a police-to-population ratio of 1:1121. This means there are well over a thousand residents for every police officer. Our Police Minister, Bheki Cele, admits that we should be striving for the UN’s recommended ratio of 1:220, but our national average is closer to twice this number.

But it is in the poorer areas of South Africa where the ANC government has truly failed to protect the people. There are many police stations where this police to population ratio has grown to four or five times the UN recommendation. Dobsonville is not alone. Parts of Diepsloot, Mamelodi and Atteridgeville are also severely under-resourced, as are many communities in Cape Town, such as Nyanga, Delft and Khayelitsha.

These areas grow and grow as people move to the city in search of opportunities, but the policing resources don’t grow along with them. That is why you have the situation here, and in many other places just like this, where people simply don’t believe that the police are able to help them and keep them safe.

Minister Cele says we are short around 62 000 police officers. But at the same time the ANC government spends R10 million per person per year of SAPS budget on VIP protection. Surely a caring government would look at this situation and say “No, this is wrong. Let us spend this money where it is needed.” But we don’t have a caring government. We have the ANC.

If you see convoys of black BMWs and Mercedes Benzes speeding through traffic with blue lights flashing, that is your government telling you that they will not be held to the same standard and the same budget as the rest of us. They did not join the ANC to live like ordinary South Africans. They joined the ANC to be treated like VIPs with money that was meant for the people.

Where the DA governs we have banned the use of blue light convoys for all our own public representatives, but we can’t control what the ANC government does. When you see one of these convoys speeding through a DA-run metro or province, it is always an ANC Minister rushing to the airport or to get home, or simply to go and get take-aways.

This has to end, fellow South Africans. We can’t allow this government to carry on living it up at the expense of ordinary South Africans who are under siege from criminals every single day.

Where the DA governs we have taken steps to correct this balance. I have given a directive to all DA governments to pro-actively seek ways in which to reduce all excess and reverse the VIP expenditure we inherited from the ANC.

We also adopted a Mayoral Handbook at our last Federal Council meeting in February which outlines the rules on finances and travel for DA public representatives, including car allowances. This is similar to the existing Western Cape handbook, which is a huge departure from the Ministerial handbook used by ANC Ministers to justify their flashy cars, first-class travel and protection services. When we take over as national government, ours will become the new Ministerial Handbook, and we will also slash the bloated cabinet to just 15 ministries.

Elected officials are servants of the public. And while the ANC might disagree and treat them like royalty at the cost of the taxpayer, you will find that all DA governments honour this principle.

But we need to take it even further. We need to do what Mayor Msimanga did in Tshwane when the DA took over there in 2016 and he discovered that the ANC had ordered 10 new BMWs, thinking that they were going to stay in office after the elections. Mayor Msimanga immediately gave those BMWs to the anti-hijacking unit of the Tshwane Metro Police. Our politicians don’t need the fast cars, but our police officers certainly do.

We need to put the needs of the people before the greed of the elite.

South Africa deserves a government that is prepared to do the hard work in turning SAPS into an honest, professional crime-fighting institution. This means recruiting only the best and most passionate candidates. It means training our detectives and specialist officers. It means building effective partnerships with communities. It means recognising the scourge of gender-based violence and putting resources towards tackling this issue.

South Africa deserves a government with a plan to reduce crime – a plan which acknowledges that policing decisions should be made at provincial and local level if they are to address issues unique to the region. A plan that calls for a Provincial Police Service that can work closely with Metro Police units, as is the case throughout the world.

South Africa deserves a government that gets things done, and doesn’t just talk about what it would one day like to do. While the ANC were talking about keeping communities safe, Mayor Mashaba went out and recruited an additional 1500 officers to the JMPD.

There is only one party that can be this government. There is only one party with both a proven track record where it governs, and a bold plan to keep South Africans safe in their homes and on their streets, and that party is the DA.

Fellow South Africans, we have no time to waste. Every day in South Africa, an average of 56 people are murdered. Every day 109 people report that they have been raped. Cash-in-transit heists now stand at almost one a day. Our nation is under constant attack from criminals, but the ANC government wouldn’t know it, because they are sitting pretty with their guards and their blue lights and their Bosasa-upgraded security systems.

That’s what you need to remember when you cast your vote next month. Do you want to vote for the safety of your own family, or do you want to vote for the VIP protection of some politician who doesn’t even know you exist?

I know what my answer is. So join me on 8 May as we vote to take back our streets and our neighbourhoods.

Join me as we build one safe, prosperous South Africa for all.

Fringe tax benefits accrued to Zuma should include R1.5m herd of cattle from Supra

The DA has written to the Acting SARS Commissioner, Mark Kingon, to request an update on whether SARS is indeed investigating the liability by former President Jacob Zuma to pay tax on the State-funded fringe benefits that have accrued to him.

This follows reports over the weekend, that North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, handed Zuma R1.5 million of prime cattle in 2016, using public funds. If these reports are true, this may be yet another fringe benefit that accrued to Zuma during his disastrous term as president and requires an urgent forensic investigation by SARS.

To this end, the DA has requested that Kingon confirms whether:

  • A full lifestyle audit of Jacob Zuma, as well as a forensic investigation into his tax affairs, have been or will be undertaken;
  • The State-funded Nkandla fringe benefits have been determined in terms of tax laws and precedents, not on the basis of the R 7.8 million payment made by Zuma;
  • Jacob Zuma has paid any taxes due by him on the Nkandla fringe benefits;
  • SARS will investigate any fringe benefits tax payable or other taxable income inferences on the R1.5 million State-funded cattle handed to Zuma; and
  • All other taxable income alleged to have accrued to Zuma, such as the alleged after-tax salary of R1 million per month paid to him by Royal Security, have been included in his taxable income.

It seems clear that Jacob Zuma would not, without a benefactor such as the Guptas, have the means to pay the fringe benefits tax on the upgrades to his Nkandla palace. It is also highly unlikely that the now discredited VBS Mutual Bank, which lent Zuma the R7.8 million he was ordered to pay back to the State for non-security upgrades, would be able to find the R63 million to pay the fringe benefits tax. That said, there is apparently R 900 million missing from VBS Mutual Bank and a payment to Jacob Zuma may well be found to be a part of these “missing” VBS bank funds.

The DA has repeatedly raised the question of the estimated R63 million fringe benefits tax and interest payable by Zuma on the State sponsored upgrades to his palatial Nkandla residence. The President’s Keepers, the book authored by Jacques Pauw, indicated that the DA calculations of fringe benefits tax on Nkandla of R63 million were confirmed by a SARS team.

The now-suspended SARS commissioner, Tom Moyane, persistently refused to even confirm whether or not SARS had taken the Nkandla upgrades into consideration as possible fringe benefits.

The DA trusts that the SARS Commissioner will agree to our request as a matter of urgency and will be able to provide the public with an update on the status of Jacob Zuma’s chequered tax affairs.

DA will not hesitate to approach courts to stop Ramaphosa from granting Zuma immunity

While the country is held hostage, the ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa, is reportedly negotiating with the man faced with 783 counts of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering, who was at the heart of the Nkandla scandal which saw R246 million of taxpayer’s money used to upgrade his private residence and who seemingly facilitated State Capture and opened the public purse to the likes of the Gupta brothers.

It is not a stretch to say that the heart of these negotiations centre around granting Zuma immunity.

To do so would be the most corrupt act imaginable and would demolish a cornerstone of our democracy, the rule of law.

Should Ramaphosa choose to offer or purport to grant Zuma immunity from prosecution, the DA will not hesitate to go to court. We cannot condone or allow Zuma to escape accountability for breaking his oath of office and putting his friends and family above the best interests of the people of South Africa.

It is incomprehensible that immunity would even be considered given the devastating impact Zuma’s presidency has had on the country. It also shows that the ANC under Ramaphosa is the very same ANC it was under Zuma.

The DA has fought long and hard to hold Zuma to account. We fought for close to a decade and eventually succeeded in ensuring that Zuma gets his day in court to face the 783 counts against him.  The process now is straightforward, the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, must set a trial date and Zuma must have his day in court.

We also fought to ensure that he paid back the money for the upgrades to his private residence in Nkandla.

We have now received confirmation from the Deputy Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo, accepting our request to make submissions to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. All that remains for the Commission to get to work is for Zuma to sign and gazette the regulations on the Terms of Reference.

Zuma cannot be allowed to run and hide. He must be held accountable and the DA will make sure of this if Ramaphosa and the ANC will not.

DA submits PAIA application for proof VBS’ compliance with National Treasury

The DA will today submit an application to Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to request PRASA to fully disclose documents showing concrete proof of VBS Mutual Bank’s compliance with National Treasury.

In terms of Section 7 of Public Financial Management Act (PFMA), PRASA is bound to act within the “prescribed framework” for their banking, cash management and investments. S7(2)(b) requires that a public entity may only open a bank account with (a) Treasury approval and (b) after prescribed tender processes have been complied with.

This follows media reports that the cash-strapped PRASA is allegedly investing R1-billion with VBS Mutual Bank, the bank that lent President Jacob Zuma R7.8-million during the Nkandla scandal.

Further, even if PRASA was granted approval by National Treasury, VBS submitted an unsolicited bid and the DA therefore requests PRASA’s compliance with PFMA procedures for unsolicited bids and any relevant tender documents for this deal.

This is a clear indication of a leadership crisis at PRASA and this once again supports the DA’s call for a total overhaul of the leadership at the entity.

What’s more, is that there are no reasons for PRASA, which is struggling financially, to invest money it doesn’t have.

It is a huge indictment on Transport Minister, Joe Maswanganyi and the ANC government that the current board and executives don’t have the best interests of South Africans at heart.

The DA will not allow any State-Owned-Enterprise (SOE) to be used as a conduit for any corrupt activities whether for Mr Zuma or the politically-connected Gupta family who are heavily implicated in State Capture. Indeed, it is highly unusual for an entity such as PRASA, already marred by serious financial problems, to ‘invest’ in a bank in the first place.

The DA now awaits a response from PRASA as the public deserves to know the full truth.

State Capture remains a serious concern for South Africans

The following speech was delivered in Parliament by the Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen MP, during the debate on The scourge of State Capture.
 Madam Speaker,
The Gupta Gang of Six
If ever there was a reason for this house to be having this debate today it was confirmed in glorious Technicolor yesterday evening. Watching the clip from Gupta TV of the gang of 6 ANC MPs defending state capture and tearing viciously into their own Chief Whip and their colleagues on the Public Enterprises Committee and threatening that this debate would not go ahead proved why this debate today is so essential. I think that we should start, as the honourable Gordhan has said before: “join the dots” .
When you do that you do have to ask; whose interests these members are serving? Certainly not the people of South Africa, certainly not our democracy’s and definitely not this Parliament’s. It was nothing more than a poorly executed dance of subservience to the Gupta masters who are no doubt carefully choreographing this charade from the confines of their Saxonwold Shebeen.
Headlining this sordid spectacle was none other than Mr. Loyiso Mpumlwana. Members may remember him, because apart from last night’s performance, he also had some other headline performances:
–   sacked by the TRC in 2009 for fraudulent misrepresentation;
–   withdrawn as a candidate for the Human Rights Commission; and
–   more recently, defended Grace Mugabe by saying that it was acceptable for her to beat up a young woman in his culture. With this past, his convoluted jargon last night and his weird legal interpretation, I wouldn’t have the good advocate represent me in an uncontested divorce!
Public trust in our institution
Just last week, the High Level Panel, headed by former President Kgalema Motlanthe, released its report. It’s a fascinating document which should be compulsory reading for every member. It is an indictment on the failures of this house and a major wake up call for all of us.  The panel calls on us for much more effective oversight of the executive and for a more activist Parliament not simply a rubber stamp processing the work of the executive.
But perhaps most worrying, and something which should concern every member off this house, is the section dealing with trust in institutions. Public trust in Parliament declined massively from 65% in 2009 to just 38% in 2015. And the question we have to ask ourselves is why? Well when you begin to “join the dots’ it’s easy to see: in 2009 Mr. Zuma was elected as the President and set about turning this Parliament into his poodle and adding it to his growing collection of captured institutions.
Since then we have experienced the SABC crisis, the mining crisis, Visagate, Nkandlagate, Nenegate, Sassagate, and at each step of the way this house has rolled over and simply allowed the executive to ride roughshod over it. Attempts to hold the executive accountable have been thwarted by ministers who don’t appear, don’t answer questions and don’t feel they are accountable to  Parliament, choosing overseas trips over their constitutional obligations to account.
Let’s not forget that it was this very Parliament that, without calling him to account before a single committee, shamefully absolved the President of any wrongdoing on Nkandla. It was up to the Constitutional Court to do our job for us and hold the President accountable.
And it’s not like this house has learnt a single thing from it: just last week at this podium the President, on one of his paltry four visits a year, was able to get away without answering a straightforward question that was on the order paper and that he had for over two weeks. Where was the sanction from the Deputy Speaker? Where was the accountability?
Because you see the executive are aided and abetted in this by presiding officers who see their role as one to protect the executive rather than to protect the members of this house as they discharge their oversight and accountability role. Last night the Speaker was on Radio 702 waxing lyrical about the President’s dignity – dignity? When is the Speaker going to start standing up for the dignity of this house which has been systematically abused by an executive and Presidency that have gone rogue.
It’s little wonder that the people, as the high level panel report affirms, are losing faith with this house as it continues to break its covenant to serve the people’s interests and instead serves the executive.
Despite all this, I don’t think that anything could have prepared us for the revelations that emerged through the Gupta leaks. Finally the vast network was laid bare for all to see, the tentacles of influence, subversion and deceit extending from Saxonwold through the union buildings, into government departments, through them into our state owned enterprises and deeper still into our provincial and local governments.
Flurries of emails, databases and communications exposed each terrible tentacle sucking up opportunity and huge sums of public money, away from its intended purposes and into the pockets of the Guptas, the Essas, the Ngubanes, the Hlongwanas and the Zumas. While the people of the Vrede Dairy project languish in abject poverty the money intended for them was used to pay for a wicked wedding, for champagne and caviar which these obscenely rich individuals and families quaffed back, all the while laughing whilst the poor suffer.
Parliament’s response: The case of the Curates egg
And what was this house’s response to the daily barrage of revelations of captured ministers, put in place as we read in the shocking revelations in the book “Enemy of the People” not to be faithful to the Republic as they swore in their oath, but rather to be faithful to the interests of the Gupta family?
Well, a whole six months ago the House Chairperson wrote to the chairs of four portfolio committees, Home Affairs, Public Enterprises, Transport and Minerals & Energy instructing them to “urgently probe the allegations”
Rather like the curates egg, the response has been excellent in parts but bad in others.
Only the Public Enterprises Committee seems to have acted with any urgency in dealing with this matter and not without significant resistance from many on these benches. Members of all parties on this committee must be complimented on their bravery, work and dedication to date in difficult circumstances. They have been relentlessly attacked by members of the executive hell-bent on ensuring that the truth does not come out. And as late as yesterday evening by their own six colleagues.
The truth is though that they still have a long way to go, they have dealt with Eskom only, they still haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on Transnet and Denel where even further indications of the rot of state capture reside.
But what has happened outside this committee?
The Home Affairs chairperson has done everything he can to thwart efforts by members to conduct a probe into the Home Affairs related aspects of State Capture. To date former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has not once, been called to explain why he used executive privileges to grant citizenship to Gupta family members when the original sponsor and applicant, did not compete the process?
– What progress has the Transport Committee made in dealing with allegations?
– The Minerals and Energy Committee is being led a merry dance of evasion and obfuscation by one of the chief protagonists in this sage, Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.
–   And what too about the revelations that fall outside these committees are we simply going to ignore the revelations that have emerged around South African Airways and the Gupta involvement there in trying to snaffle the lucrative Mumbai route.
–   Why has the State of Capture report by the Public Protector not been referred to a single committee?
–   What too about the revelations that the Guptas were provided with a secret cabinet memorandum by a former Communications Minister?
–   Why has Minister Des Van Rooyen not been called to explain what happened in the 4 short days he was the Finance Minister
–   And most importantly why has the President not appeared before a single committee of this house to account for a single one of the serious allegations?
The struggle against state capture starts in Parliament
There are some today, like the gang of six last night, who will no doubt argue that it is not this houses responsibility to investigate and hold the executive accountable.
They will argue that the proposed judicial commission of enquiry should do this (funny though that it is the very same people who, when the opposition beats them in court, argue repeatedly that the judiciary shouldn’t do Parliaments work)
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Constitution of the Republic makes it clear:
–     section 42(3) “scrutinising and overseeing executive action”
–     Section 55(2) “ the National Assembly must maintain oversight of the exercise of national authority….and any organ of state”
And this was confirmed by the Chief Justice Moegeng in the Nkandla judgement : “ Scrutinise means subject to scrutiny. And scrutiny implies a careful and thorough examination or a penetrating or searching reflection”
 This Parliament is mandated by the Constitution to do the job that is required to get to the bottom of the scourge of sate capture.
It is provided with all the tools both constitutionally and within our rules to perform the functions that it needs to in holding the executive accountable.
And, it is obliged to do the job because as the peoples parliament  it has the duty to act in the interest of the people of South Africa.
Because, in the final analysis, if we don’t act who will?
One can only wonder if the situation would have actually got so bad and run so deep if the Scorpions had not been shut down in an act of complete political treachery led by Mr. Yunis Carrim, who now tries to shamelessly re-style himself as the political sands have shifted, as a champion of justice. Thanks to him and his underhand efforts at the time we are now bequeathed the moribund Hawks, who do not leave their perch unless it’s to pick on an identified enemy of the State Capture brigade.
It’s unlikely that the NPA are going to come to our rescue, they have been so captured that in this whole year of damning revelations, so much time has elapsed since the revelations first came to light that three books have been published, yet not a single page criminal indictment has been written or investigation concluded. The NPA seem to spend more time arguing why accused persons should NOT be charged than building cases against criminals. The lights may be on at the NPA, but clearly nobody is home, they too don’t leave the office unless it’s to pick on an identified enemy of the State Capture brigade.
It’s even more unlikely that the State Security Agency, which should be guarding the sovereignty of our state are going to come to our rescue. They too have been so captured that they are used as a tool to protect and entrench the very people responsible for state capture and pose the biggest risk to its sovereignty. Events of the last year show clearly that they only act to smear and undermine with trumped up “intelligence reports” any identified enemy of the Sate Capture brigade.
And SARS is also not going to help, their systematic capture has led to a situation where good stewards of public finances have been pushed out and replaced with the very allies of the State Capture crew. Their transgressions? Going hard after those people who themselves are the perpetrators of State Capture, The Guptas body refunds, Edward Zuma’s illegal cigarette enterprises and Khulubuse Zuma’s asset stripping and fraud. Tom Moyane’s SARS is not interested in pursuing anybody outside of identified enemies of the State Capture brigade.
And it’s certainly not going to helped by the keyboard warriors and twitter activists that currently occupy the ANC benches. Those members like Mr. Derek Hanekom and many others who were or are still part of the cabinet and have been for the past 8 years, serving President Zuma slavishly and loyally and who now feign surprise at the scourge of State Capture as though they didn’t know what was going on under their very noses and around the cabinet table. They turned a blind eye for years and now try to reshape themselves as pillars of virtue.
There is no charge office on Twitter, there is no such thing as a Facebook arrest and no courts of law operate on Instagram. If we want to do something then this house must do its job, every member I this house must do their job and act without fear and favor and ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable.
This house cannot be one of the “Presidents Keepers” or become an “Enemy of the People”
Refusing to act on State Capture, denying the duty of this Parliament to exercise oversight and accountability over the President and his cabinet and turning a blind eye to the wrongdoing that has been going on and defending those who have looted the resources and opportunity of our country will be the grossest dereliction of duty and history will judge this house harshly.

President Zuma’s withdrawals are nonsensical and bizarre

For radio interviews or soundbites, please contact DA National Spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme MP or Director: Communications, Mabine Seabe, contacts below.
The Democratic Alliance is appalled that, in the dying moments of the response by the President’s lawyer, the President abandoned one of his submissions to the Court, namely that the court order that State Capture report be remitted back to the Public Protector (PP) for further investigation.
If this had been what the President had intended all along, why he has dragged it out in such a cynical and time wasting manner?
This is nonsensical and bizarre. It’s been nearly a year since the Public Protector tabled her report. The President has repeatedly said that he intends to appoint a commission of inquiry, but will not be dictated to about who should preside over the inquiry. Now it appears – much as was the case in the Nkandla and Spy Tapes judgements – that the President is changing tack at the last minute.
We argued in our submissions that it was a competent remedial action by the Public Protector; that similar orders had been made by the PP in previous cases; that it was urgent for there to be a commission of inquiry into the matter of state capture given the gravity of the allegations and the extent of alleged state capture; and that a commission of inquiry, in public, would help to restore the faith of the South African public in political institutions.
We hope that the Court will be with us. This matter cannot drag on any longer. It’s crucial that we get to the bottom of this matter and close this shameful chapter in our history, and to take steps against those responsible, including criminal charges and civil claims.

ANC protect compromised Mkhwebane in a revisit of Nkandla mistakes

The ANC has once again chosen to use their numbers to protect the compromised Public Protector, Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, at the expense of fulfilling their mandate and ultimately at the expense of all South Africans who deserve an effective and uncompromised person in the role.
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services had previously voted to consider the matter of Mkhwebane’s removal, but backtracked spectacularly and have now voted today to not conduct an inquiry into her fitness to hold office at all.
The DA has long maintained that Mkhwebane is unsuitable for the role and with each passing day, it becomes more and more obvious that this is true.
Parliament has failed before to properly exercise its oversight role, in the Nkandla matter. This failure was confirmed by the Constitutional Court judgement which stated that the National Assembly in that matter “flouted its obligations”, and acted in a manner that was “inconsistent with the Constitution and unlawful”.
We should learn from these mistakes, but the ANC seems doomed to do the same again, in a true illustration of their inability to self-correct.
The DA condemns this behaviour by the ANC with the contempt it deserves and will now consider all avenues possible to ensure a full review of Mkhwebane’s fitness for office as the people’s Public Protector.

State Capture: The fight for accountability continues

The Democratic Alliance notes with interest the judgement handed down in the North Gauteng High Court this morning.
We elected to take a legal route in order to compel President Jacob Zuma to comply with Public Protector’s remedial action as outlined in the Constitutional Court judgment in the Nkandla matter.
On a number of occasions, including before the National Assembly, President Zuma has stated that he will establish a Commission of Inquiry. To date, he has not done so.
President Zuma has a long history of delaying processes, especially in cases of accountability.
This matter has not been dismissed but has in fact been held back pending the outcome of the President’s review application, which will be heard at the end of October, where we will also be in court to continue this fight for accountability.
We will study the judgement in full and continue this fight until all individuals and organisations implicated in State Capture are held accountable.

We have an opportunity to pull SA back from the abyss

The ancient Greek Titan Prometheus is reputed to have said:  “Whom the gods seek to destroy, they first make mad”.
And what madness we have witnessed:

  • A President who has sold his country to foreigners who stripped the country not only of its money and resources, but who have snatched away opportunity from the hands of the poor and most vulnerable in our society. The mother whose sheer desperation forces her to feed her children on grass and sugar water. Madness!
  • All this whilst the President and his family have gotten richer; obscenely richer. The President of the Republic has sacrificed the future of our nation’s children on the altar of the Guptas only to selfishly secure his own future. Madness!
  • Our economy has been pushed to breaking point. Thievery by day, manoeuvring by night. Finance ministers pushed out under the cover of darkness. Their high crimes and misdemeanours? Trying to put the economy and people of South Africa first and keep the rabid wolves of State Capture away from the doors of the people’s Treasury. Madness!
  • A Minister of Finance, with no plan whatsoever to rescue our freefalling economy other than to slavishly execute, like a grinning Lord Baelish, the orders of his mad king. The irresponsible uncle we all know, who bets the family home to buy a sports car he knows he cannot possibly afford. Risking it all, he wants to take the sound investment portfolio and throw it into the abyss of SAA. Madness!
  • 3 million of our mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers who do not have the dignity of work because this administration cannot get the basics right and a Parliament that does nothing to help them. Madness!
  • Those who stand up for right and against wrong are pursued and persecuted, while the crooked and corrupt are promoted. Madness!

And where exactly were the guardians of the people when these mists of madness swept over our nation?
This Parliament should be the frontline of defence for the people of South Africa.
Instead at every twist, test and turn, it has chosen president over people, party over principle, executive over example, and collusion over our Constitution.
We saw it happen over Nkandla.
We saw it happen when the Constitutional Court did its job in its damning judgement.
We saw it happen when Ministers like Faith Muthambi, Bathabile Dlamini and Mosebenzi Zwane wreaked havoc on the nation while this House sat on its hands and looked the other way.
We saw it happen when more than a hundred vulnerable patients were sentenced to die an agonizing death by an administration that behaved with criminal neglect and inhumane indifference.
And we are watching it happen before our very eyes over State Capture.
And, on the 8th of August South Africans came to see the truth – that we don’t have a Jacob Zuma problem, we have an ANC problem.
On the back of Nkandla, the State of Capture report, the 783 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering. Despite his picking off of the good men and women in your party, one by one. Despite his driving away excellence and inducting incompetence.
You, apart from some brave men and women on your benches, who saw the madness and tried to end it, chose instead to own him. The ANC had an opportunity to do right by the People and our Constitution and stop the madness, but now you have become it.
Mr. Jacob Zuma is the ANC and the ANC is Mr. Jacob Zuma and surely as night follows day, this madness will contaminate your party until it destroys you. It’s already started as comrade turns on comrade. Your factional battles in some provinces, like KZN, are literally becoming a matter of life and death. All the while, as these battles rage on, the People are forgotten.
The “Do Nothing Parliament”!
We have also seen the manifestations of this being played out here in our Parliament as the People’s business is put on hold and forgotten while the factional battles play out in your caucus and our committee rooms, paralyzing the ability of this House to fulfil even the most basic of its Constitutional mandates.
Passing legislation: fail! Excepting the Division of Revenue and Appropriations bills, Parliament has passed just seven pieces of legislation this year, four of which were introduced in 2015.
This year, the 5th Parliament will hit a new record low of passing legislation. Sloppy law-making that has seen bills referred back for procedural and Constitutional failings. The reason? We have just not sat enough this year to process the People’s business because your party business and factional battles have taken centre stage.
Long recess periods in order for your organisation to try sort out its internal battles and fights over “White Monopoly Capital” this and “Radical Economic Transformation” that; who gets the keys to Treasury, and who do the Hawks target next; whose emails does the State Security Agency hack now, and who gets smeared next.
Committee meetings are cancelled because ANC members cannot stand to be in the same room as each other. We have seen them tearing each other apart in the Home Affairs committee, the Public Enterprises committee, and the Public Service and Administration committee. Like a mad beast that flails at its own flesh and gnaws away its own limbs, and all the while the People are forgotten.
Scrutinizing and overseeing Executive action: fail! This House has been completely castrated in its ability to do this by a governing party unwilling to hold its own executive accountable and a President that refuses to give this house the ability to do its job.
Just last week, at this very podium, the President was allowed to once again get away without answering basic questions that were put to him. It’s not that we didn’t like the answer, as the Speaker tried to cast it.  It’s that there wasn’t an answer to dislike at all. How is that executive accountability? How is that holding the President to account if serious question time is reduced to a giggling, paper shuffling evasion and obfuscation session? How can the National Assembly say it’s effecting accountability? It’s a sham! And all the while the People are forgotten.
The truth is that life has become too hard for too many South Africans. Sophocles said, “What joy is there in day that follows day, some swift, some slow, with death the only goal”.
And yet that’s the living reality for so many of our forgotten citizens under this government. The mother in abject poverty in Mount Ayliff who despairs over how she will feed her children that night while trying to eke out a living. The young school leaver in Kimberley who has given up hope of finding a job and whose only escape from this hopelessness is Tik.
These citizens, and the millions like them, should be this government’s obsession. But they are not. They should be this Parliament’s obsession. But they are not.
And that is why we need a reset.
South Africa cannot afford another two years of ANC governance. We cannot tolerate another two years of the Gupta family’s toxic influence over President Zuma and the ANC government. We cannot endure another two years of unchecked looting and plundering of our state-owned entities.
South Africa deserves a fresh start and the Constitution makes provision for early elections in instances, such as these, where there is a legitimacy crisis. Public representatives are elected to represent the hopes and aspirations of ordinary South Africans who, through their votes, chose them to serve. When they no longer serve those who elected them, but instead serve the interests of the political elite and their criminal associates, they must be removed.
Opposition parties also carry the hopes of the millions of South Africans who are unemployed and poor. They too should not disappoint the disaffected the way the ANC has.
The ANC can no longer be trusted to govern. South Africans have had enough. This is why the motion to usher in new elections must be supported.
This is a call to action.
My fellow members of the 5th Parliament of the Republic, in the next eighteen months, as President Zuma and his berserkers, in a maniacal rollercoaster, drive this nation closer and closer to the abyss;
As the unemployment lines grow ever longer, and hope grows ever shorter;
As this Parliament continues to be hollowed out, diminished and reduced into a “do-nothing” assembly;
As this government, at war with itself, continues to tear itself apart reducing our citizens to hostages of its hostility.
Let it be remembered, every day, that things could have been so different.
Let this day, the 5th of September 2017, be remembered as the day that this House had a chance to stand up for the people, had a choice and chance to strike out, and chose to draw a line in the sand and arrest the madness.
Let us not choose to fold our arms, turn our backs on the People, and once again do nothing.
But know this: whether this motion succeeds or fails today, the People of this country are crying out for change. They have grown weary of a president, party and government that puts itself first and them last. And the people will bring change.