DA concerned by CoGTA Minister Dlamini-Zuma’s absence in Parliament in the face of dysfunctional municipalities 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) can confirm that the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has missed all but one of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on CoGTA meetings. In addition to this, the Minster has also failed to give substantial responses to many of the opposition’s Parliamentary questions posed to her.

During this Sixth Parliament, the DA posed more than 69 written questions to the Minister and her department with the majority of the responses reading “[the] information requested by the Honourable Member is not readily available in the Department. The information will be submitted to the Honourable Member as soon as it is available”.

The DA is of the view that Minister Dlamini-Zuma’s continued absence and deflection, is wrong both in principle and in practice because it hinders Parliament’s ability to effectively oversee the work of her department.

Portfolio Committees provide a crucial avenue for opposition parties, citizens and civic organizations to contribute to the policymaking process, through written submissions or by participating in public hearings. Quite frankly, it is unacceptable for Minister Dlamini-Zuma not to attend portfolio committees or answer Parliamentary questions in what seems to be an attempt to evade accountability.

Her evasion of Parliamentary oversight is particularly concerning at a time when solutions are needed to fix the dire state of local governments which are facing major operational and financial challenges, underpinned by rampant corruption and gross governance challenges.

A crisis will be inevitable unless Minister Dlamini – Zuma starts involving herself to take corrective steps to fix municipalities that are facing collapse due to deteriorating financial governance.

Here is an example that action is needed by the Minister to avoid a crisis in municipalities:

  • In the North West, a number of municipalities are dysfunctionality and lack capacity. Phokwane Local Municipality in Hartswater, in the Northern Cape, is failing to deliver basic services to its residents.
  • Billions of rands have disappeared in Limpopo municipalities who invested in VBS which has rendered several municipalities bankrupt
  • Residents from the township of Joza in Makhanda still have to walk a long way to fetch water, owing to the local government’s failure to meet their basic needs, etc.

Parliament has an essential role to play it in restoring local government to some degree of financial and operational efficiency, in order to improve the levels of service delivery for the achievement of a better quality of life for all citizens.

To think Minister Dlamini- Zuma had ambitions of becoming the state President of this country.  In what world was she going to be able to rescue South Africa from these turbulent and raging seas – if she is failing to ensure that the one department she is the head of, is in order. The country would not have fared well with a “Missing President” and we certainly cannot afford a “Missing Minister” at CoGTA.

Strong, decisive and most importantly present leadership is needed to fix broken municipalities, which are mired by lack of leadership and skills, fraud and corruption, and political infighting. The DA calls on Minister Dlamini –Zuma to avail herself to Parliament to which she is accountable so that the Portfolio committee can continue with its work of oversight and accountability.

DA rejects Public Protector report exonerating NDZ VIP protection

The Democratic Alliance (DA) rejects the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report exonerating Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s VIP protection in 2017, despite the fact that she held no official position that would justify such protection.

In April 2017, the DA referred what can only be described as an abuse of state resources to the Public Protector. The report reads that Mkhwebane “could not find any reason to conclude that Dr Dlamini-Zuma was improperly accorded VIP Protection Services by the Minister of Police”.

The DA maintains that the decision to award Dlamini-Zuma VIP protection was a political decision in the run up to the ANC’s elective conference in December 2017, by a Police Minister who had every reason to be in Dlamini-Zuma’s favour.

It now appears that the ANC has influence over the office of the Public Protector. It is unconscionable that the Mkhwebane can in anyway exonerate this wasteful spending of tax-payers money.

Whilst our communities are trapped in a vicious cycle of brutal, violent crime, the ANC government is spending R1.5 billion on VIP protection for politicians.

The DA is the only party that can build one South Africa for All, where all South Africans are afforded a safe environment by an honest and professional police service.

Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s disastrous tenure must be brought to an end

Tomorrow, 13 June 2018, the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services will finally meet to consider a request by myself, on behalf of the Democratic Alliance, to remove the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, after months of delay. This follows several formal requests to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to expedite these proceedings.

The DA maintains that it has long been apparent that Adv Mkhwebane is grossly unfit to hold office and has made requests dating as far back as September 2017 calling on the Speaker to institute proceedings to remove her.

The shockingly poor quality of the work Adv Mkhwebane has produced during her tenure as Public Protector speaks for itself.

She has consistently demonstrated that she falls far short of the required expertise necessary to hold the office of such a pivotal institution of our democracy, and at every turn has displayed a fundamental misunderstanding of role her powers and the fundamentals of the Constitution. Indeed, the DA stood alone in objecting to her appointment in the first instance.

This is borne out by the fact that Advocate Mkhwebane’s work has been found to fall so short of the Constitutionally required standard that several court judgments have already made deeply pejorative findings against her. These include, that she has been “…reasonably suspected of bias”, that she has not brought “…an impartial mind to bear on the issues before her” and that she …”did not conduct herself in a manner which should be expected from a person occupying the office of the Public Protector”.

It is on the basis of her fundamental misunderstanding of the basic principles of the Constitution and her own powers that her findings against the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille are now part of this growing list of abject findings by her. Her findings have no basis in law and if unchallenged have profoundly negative constitutional implications.

The content of Premier Zille’s tweets were the subject of a settlement between her and the party, and resulted in a public apology from Ms Zille. The Party has made it clear that we did not in any way support the merits of the tweets at the time. This stance remains unchanged. We have never condoned the content of Ms Zille’s tweets. However, this ruling has profound constitutional implications which speak to Adv Mkhwebane’s fundamental misunderstanding of the powers of the Public Protector.

In addition to this, there are a raft of other cases which Adv Mkhwebane has displayed ignorance for the law including:

  • The ABSA Bank matter (Report 8 of 2017/18), where Adv Mkhwebane demonstrated spectacular bias and did not adhere to the constitutional principle of procedural fairness; and
  • The Vrede Dairy Project matter (Report 31 of 2017/8 ) in which she completely ignored pertinent questions and failed to deal with evidence implicating senior government and ruling party office bearers.

Added to this, there are cases which have been lodged with the Public Protector concerning Members of the Executive who have stolen public money meant to benefit the poor. These investigations are yet to be completed despite the public importance. These include:

  • The “pension pay-out” of R 30 million granted to Brian Molefe;
  • The VIP Protection assigned to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma while she occupied no government office; and
  • Several Ministers lying to Parliament, including former Minister Faith Muthambi during the SABC ad hoc committee and former Minister Lynne Brown for failing to disclose Trillian contracts

Tomorrow, the DA will finally have a formal opportunity to present its case for having Adv Mkhwebane removed from office. Through her conduct she has demonstrated that she is unable to act lawfully, she consistently acts without regard to procedural fairness and that her findings are patently unreasonable. The DA will fight to protect this vital constitutionally established institution and ensure that its integrity is restored by removing Adv Mkhwebane and ensuring that a suitably qualified person is appointed to the office.

SupraMustGo: IMMT briefing nothing more than PR exercise

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the North West is deeply disappointed with the meaningless feedback Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma gave to the people of North West this afternoon.

As we have long said, the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) along with the Section 100 intervention are a smokescreen used to cover up the fact that President Cyril Ramaphosa does not have the capacity to deal with the North West’s focal problem – Supra Muhamphelo.

The people of the North West have been caught in the middle of an ANC factional battle, where the casualties are the people and service delivery. When politicians fight, it is the people who ultimately suffer. It is a slap in the face of the lived experience and plight of the province’s residents for the IMTT to state that “more investigations” into the state of the province need to be done, when the facts are right in front of them: from Auditor-General reports to the physical state of the province.  Ramaphosa’s IMMT is being disingenuous; it is playing with the lives of the people.

We do not need more reports or investigations or PR stunts by the ANC – we need action that will bring order and change the lives of our people for the better.

Last week, we filed a PAIA application to gain access to the full IMTT report – we believe it is nothing more than a PR gimmick, which either says nothing or will only tell the people what they already know: that the ANC has failed the people and that Mahumaphelo must be removed from office, without further delay.

The ANC has failed the people of the North West and we are sceptical that the ANC will ever be able to put the people first and turn the province around.

The North West needs the kind of Change that only a DA-led government can bring.

#SupraMustGo: DA submits PAIA application for Inter-Ministerial Task Team report on North West

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the North West has lodged a Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000 (PAIA) application to the ensure we get access to the Inter-Ministerial Task Team’s (IMTT) report on the state of affairs in North West.

South Africans have the right to the content of the report by the IMTT, headed by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, which was presented to Cabinet this week.

The ANC has dragged its feet for long enough now, it is therefore vital that South Africans are made aware of the ANC government’s assessment the collapse of the North West.  We will not allow them to further put a lid on the real problems the people face – corruption, looting, mismanagement and a lack of political will by the ANC to act against cadres.

The time for covering up is over for the ANC and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This investigation was instigated by President Ramaphosa who appointed the task team to give urgent attention to matters of governance and risks facing the North West province. The team visited the Province more than two weeks ago.

We suspect that the IMTT was another PR stunt by Ramaphosa, who has been missing in action since he rushed back from the UK. When real action is needed Ramaphosa is no where to be found.

Real change will only come to the North West when the people use their voting might to vote out liars and looters, and vote for total change under a DA-led government that always puts the people first.

DA to report ANC’s alleged jobs for NDZ votes to the Public Protector

The DA will refer the allegations that the ANC in the Free State, and possibly in other provinces, and hired hundreds of people to attend the Party’s National Elective Congress as branch delegates solely to vote for ANC Presidential candidate, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Media reports today indicate that this may not be the only province in which the tactic was used. If this is the case, it is a serious abuse of the people’s money, which should be spent on real job creation, without strings.
The DA in the Free State has already laid criminal charges against the ANC for allegedly appointing more than 200 people in the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality to vote for Dlamini-Zuma.
Given that this tactic may have been employed in other provinces, it is important that the Public Protector investigate fully.
President of the ANC and South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, should also take these allegations seriously. This is an opportunity for him to come out strongly against corruption in the party he leads.
Should the PP find any wrongdoing, those responsible must be held to account for abusing public funds for purely political reasons.

Who the ANC elects is immaterial – our future lies in a post-ANC SA

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Isn’t it ironic that we are gathered at an event to discuss the upcoming elective conference of the ANC, and yet none of the ANC candidates are here? They were all meant to be here, but they seem to have had a change of heart.
To be honest, I’m not surprised Cyril Ramaphosa isn’t here. After his “new deal” speech the other day, it’s clear he’s come round to DA policy. It would be unfair to give us two speakers.
So here we are – opposition leaders, civil society and the media – all talking about the future of the ANC with no ANC in sight, apart from a couple of dissenting voices. Isn’t that just an accurate metaphor for the state of our nation?
If we want to draw another accurate comparison with our country we need only look to our north at the situation unfolding in Zimbabwe. The story of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF is like the canary in the coal mine for Zuma’s ANC.
It’s an indicator that all liberation movements run their course. They fulfil their purpose of defeating unjust regimes, but then they invariably end up on the wrong side of history. Tempted by power and wealth, they become the very thing they fought against.
Decades after freedom was won they still define themselves as national liberation movements. And, as Dr Khulu Mbatha in his book Unmasked reminds us, this demands that there must be an enemy, be it race or colonialism.
The ANC is still seeking to define enemies everywhere. It never successfully transitioned from a liberation movement into a governing party.
Most people have figured out by now that Zanu-PF and the ANC bear a striking resemblance to each other, both in terms of their history and their attitude to power. Same Whatsapp group, as they say.
What’s playing out now in Zimbabwe is, in many ways, a blueprint for the ANC’s inevitable demise. And just as opposing factions within Zanu-PF are pretending to offer the country a fresh start after decades under Mugabe, we have a whole host of “fresh start” candidates jostling for position within the ANC.
Buoyed by a media that has bought into the myth that a liberation movement can and must save itself, these ANC candidates have all miraculously reinvented themselves as corruption-busting friends of the poor.
At a quick glance, they appear clean when held up alongside Jacob Zuma, but it is a trick of the eyes. An illusion.
Because, just as Zanu-PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa spent three decades doing Robert Mugabe’s dirty work for him, all the candidates in the ANC race have long been complicit in keeping our country trapped in its current state.
In fact, one of these candidates is complicit in both South Africa and Zimbabwe’s failures. During her time as Foreign Minister in the early 2000’s, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma along with Thabo Mbeki helped condemn Zimbabwe to another 15 years of misery under Robert Mugabe.
Their criminal policy of “quiet diplomacy” was nothing less than outright support for Mugabe’s decades-long reign of terror. I hope the recent events in Zimbabwe have caused her to reflect honestly on her role in the country’s turmoil.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It doesn’t matter who gets elected at Nasrec in December – it will make no difference. The ANC is dead. Come 2019, we will have the opportunity to save our country and steer it in a new direction.
Ultimately, the change we need will not come from within the ANC. Our future, in this post-liberation era, lies in a post-ANC South Africa.
I know how hard it is for many South Africans to imagine life beyond the ANC. When a party has dominated the political landscape for so long, as they have done, it is extremely difficult to envisage life without them.
And here I’m not just talking about hard-core ANC loyalists. I’m talking about all South Africans, including the business community, civil society and the media. If you look at the dominant narrative in our media, it is clear that we are still largely trapped in the paradigm of the liberation movement.
But sooner or later we are going to have to step out of this paradigm. We are going to have to do what’s in the best interest of our country, even if that means making some tough decisions like turning your back on the party of your parents.
We are going to have to give our country a brand new beginning.
Change in this country has to mean more than simply replacing one elite with another, while the poor continue to exist in parallel world. Change has to mean more than a handful of quick-fixes in the run-up to elections.
If we’re talking about a new beginning, then it has to offer the people of this country – and particularly young South Africans – a future worth fighting for. A future in which they see opportunities and hope for themselves.
If we want to turn the tide for this lost generation of South African youth, we are going to have to look beyond populist ploys like promises of free Higher Education.
We are going to have to take complete ownership of our children’s development – from cradle to career. This is a huge task – much harder than cutting budgets to pay for free higher education – but it is the most important thing we can do for our country.
This means ensuring that every child has access to some form of early childhood development, and that every child’s nutritional needs are met in these early years. Currently almost 3 million young children don’t receive their daily nutritional needs.
It also means completely overhauling basic education so that our children leave school with something to offer the world.
We must attract and properly train talented and committed teachers, we must curb the unacceptable drop-out rate and we must ensure that parents have a say in where they send their children. We must embrace and enhance technology in education so that we can prepare a generation of youth for the fourth industrial revolution.
After school, there must be options for everyone. This won’t always be higher education, but for those who do qualify, a lack of funds should never prevent them from studying.
Between an expanded university funding model, the roll-out of open online courses and better access to TVET colleges, it is possible to dramatically increase study opportunities for young South Africans.
For those who don’t choose to study after school, a variety of apprenticeship programmes, a National Civilian Service year for on-the-job training and the rollout of National Job Centres will present options for everyone.
This is the scale of intervention that is required. Because if we don’t – if we simply paper over the cracks with stop-gap measures year after year – then we will lose an entire generation, and our country may never recover.
But this is just half the job. The other half is creating a demand for their new skills. We must rebuild a growing, modern economy that can absorb these young people into the workforce, and we must do so soon.
Talk of an expanding, inclusive economy cannot just be wishful thinking.
I believe it can be done. I believe our economy can be re-ignited to reach growth figures that will deliver meaningful jobs.
I believe we can make South Africa an appealing destination for investment – that we can announce to the world we are open for business once more.
But to do so will require wholesale changes to the way government approaches its responsibilities.
It will require of us to deconcentrate, demonopolise and deregulate our economy.
But more than this, it will require specific commitments to efficient, transparent and pro-poor governance – commitments that this ANC government has shown, over and over again, it is simply not prepared to make. And so it will fall to a new government to do so.
I believe South Africa will have every chance at making a full recovery if a new government applies the following four principles:
Firstly, we will need a capable state. The moment you sacrifice quality for loyalty, you have set yourself up for failure. Cadre deployment has crippled the state’s ability to deliver, but yet it remains a key part of the ANC’s policy.
It also enables massive looting of state resources. The Guptas would never have laid their hands on our wealth if they didn’t have insiders in government and on the boards of SOEs to open the doors for them. Cadre deployment is the first step in the state capture process.
The South Africa we need to build will require only the best, fit-for-purpose candidates in government. This will not only ensure the necessary expertise in running crucial departments, but it will also eliminate the scourge of patronage politics.
Secondly, we need a commitment to real fiscal responsibility. We all heard in Minister Gigaba’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement how far our tax collection missed its target.If we want to close this gap, we are going to have to make some hard decisions on spending. We cannot simply tax ourselves to wealth.
This includes trimming our bloated government by combining ministries and doing away with deputy ministers. I believe we can run government efficiently on 15 to 20 ministries. Again, this is something the current government can’t do because this is how they dispense patronage.
It also includes deconcentrating our State-Owned Enterprises. These companies are meant to benefit the public, but instead they are costing the public money. We cannot afford for our SOEs to drain our fiscus.
We are now seeing, at the Eskom Enquiry, how this board was captured and how decisions were made by connected and protected individuals in other state entities.
Thirdly, we need to commit to meaningful redress of our country’s unjust past. And by this I don’t mean the ANC’s version of Black Economic Empowerment, which is nothing but the enrichment of a small elite of connected cronies.
When we talk about B-BBEE, then the emphasis must be on the words “broad-based” – programmes that empower ordinary South Africans through shares and ownership.
It also means creating more black business owners and employers by making redress-specific start-up capital available – what I call a Jobs & Justice Fund.
Giving people title to the homes they live in will also go a long way towards securing their economic freedom.
And the fourth requirement in re-building South Africa through responsible governance is an absolute zero-tolerance for corruption. It goes without saying that this ANC government has fallen woefully short of the mark here.
All corruption, whether in government or in business, should carry a minimum jail sentence of 15 years. And this includes corruption by the President.
Of course, if you want to apply this principle consistently, you will need a prosecuting authority that is free from political influence. And so it is imperative that the appointment of the head of the NPA be constitutionally removed from the responsibilities of the president.
It will also require that our corruption busting unit, The Hawks, become independent once more, as was the case with the highly successful Scorpions.
There is much more we can, and must, do to turn our country around. But applying these four principles will provide us with a rock-steady foundation on which to build a stable country with a growing, inclusive economy.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We don’t have to wait until 2019 to see the benefits of these principles applied in national government. For over a year now, new DA-led coalition governments in several metros have been delivering on this post-ANC future, just as DA governments had already been doing in Cape Town and the Western Cape.
And it is important to note that we have been doing so in partnership with a host of other parties. As we expected, these partnerships haven’t always been smooth and easy because they are constructed from the most diverse backgrounds imaginable.
But our new metro governments have shown us that it is possible to bring parties together and overcome differences by focusing on common goals. If the common goal is to improve the lives of poor citizens, then all ideological differences take a back seat.
These coalition governments aren’t just important for the people of the metros where they govern. They are also hugely important for every single South African because they offer a glimpse – a “proof of concept” – of how a future national government can work.
Coalitions help us build a new national identity where many strands can be drawn together.
They also make it possible for people to process the fact that the ANC is dead. Nationally, and certainly here in Gauteng, they only have another 18 months to govern. After this comes a new beginning.
But if we have this opportunity to hit the reset button, then we should do it properly. We should fix all the things that aren’t working for us. And one of these is our electoral system.
In its current format, we have no choice but to depend on a party to do its job. And if it doesn’t, we have no direct recourse.
Now is the ideal time for us to talk about a better way of electing public representatives. The introduction of a hybrid electoral system – part constituency and part proportional representation – will make MPs directly accountable to voters.
And I’d like to go one step further and propose that we consider the direct election of the president in order to put real power back in the hands of the people. If our chapter under Jacob Zuma has taught us one thing, it is that you can never have too much accountability.
These are the things we should be talking about if we want to give our country a new start. Not who replaces who in the ANC.
Whatever happens at Nasrec next month is immaterial. No new leader will change what the ANC has become. It will be business as usual – it will just be someone else’s turn to eat.
And judging by recent events at their provincial conferences, this hand-over of eating privileges is not likely to happen without violence and intimidation either.
So while our attention is focused on Zimbabwe and their palace coup, let us also reflect on how easily their military chose sides and became involved in this Zanu-PF faction fight.
Because this is the natural evolution of a party dominated by corruption and patronage. And given that, here at home, the Zuma faction of the ANC already controls not only the Hawks and the NPA, but also State Security, is it really too far-fetched to suggest that their interests may be defended with force?
We cannot afford for this to happen. What happens in December could set the tone for what happens in 2019. It is crucial that our transition to a new government takes place peacefully and within the protection of the law.
But that’s still 18 months away, and we cannot sit on our hands until then while the wrecking ball of Jacob Zuma’s state capture project crashes through our economy. Even if we are to remove the ANC in 2019, we must get rid of Jacob Zuma now.
It’s a pity the ANC president hopefuls aren’t here today. We need answers from them on what they plan to do with Jacob Zuma should they get elected, as well as a number of other critical questions.
Clearly they are all afraid to stick their heads above the parapet on tough issues, and so the entire country is left speculating about who might be their president next year. That’s not good enough. We need straight answers.
So, given the urgent crisis our country faces right now, I am calling on each of the candidates in the ANC leadership race to tell us whether they will commit to the following four things as soon as they have won:

  1. Immediately recall Jacob Zuma as President of the Republic of South Africa.
  2. Immediately institute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into state capture, as per the Public Protector’s remedial actions.
  3. Immediately announce steps to replace Shaun Abrahams with a new, independent National Director of Public Prosecutions.
  4. Immediately abandon the nuclear deal for good.

None of these things will save the ANC, but they will go a long way towards saving our country. South Africans have a right to know whether those vying for leadership of the ANC are willing to commit to these four important steps.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Initially I was sceptical about an event like this focused entirely on the elective conference of the ruling party. For me that’s a short conversation – there is no salvation for our country in the outcome of this December conference.
But if it gets us talking about the kind of South Africa we’d like to see – and the expectations we have from a government tasked with building this South Africa – then today could be very useful.
I believe we can do it. I believe we can pull our country back from the brink and reconstruct it the way we want it to be.
But the only way we will get there is if we can make mature decisions as a country – if our young democracy grows up, and our people discover the true power and possibility that lies in their vote. A vote for a better tomorrow, not a yesterday.
Thank you.

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

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

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

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

SABC bowing to pressure from the ANC about Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Please find attached a soundbite by the DA Shadow Minister of Communications,  Phumzile Van Damme MP
The DA is gravely concerned about an announcement by the Acting CEO of the SABC, Nomsa Philiso, suggesting that the SABC has bowed to political pressure from the ANC.
At a press conference yesterday Philiso announced that the SABC had instituted disciplinary action against a staff member for references to ANC presidential hopeful, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as “Mini Zuma” and “Zuma ex-wife”.
The disciplinary action follows press statements issued by the ANC Women’s League complaining about what in the first instance, appears to be an error, and in the second, a factual reference to Dlamini-Zuma’s marital status. Neither require disciplinary action and are indicative of a SABC that is taking unwarranted and unnecessary disciplinary action against its own to please the ANC and its factions.
It is worrying that the SABC has reverted to bowing to political pressure from the ANC, a situation that had been arrested following Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on the SABC Inquiry and the appointment of the interim board.
It is becoming apparent that there is more to the delay in the appointment of the permanent SABC board than meets the eye. There is no denying that the conditions at the SABC are indeed ripe for capture, and our concerns in this regard are not unfounded.
The appointment of the permanent board can no longer be delayed.
Every hour that it is without a board to oversee management and act as a vanguard against political pressure, is an opportunity for the SABC to be re-captured, and decisions made without adequate oversight by a board.
The SABC’s management will be Parliament next week, the DA will have questions about this, and other developments at the public broadcaster that will require clear, and full answers.

NDZ's deployment will cripple Parliament

The ANC’s decision to deploy President Jacob Zuma’s preferred successor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to Parliament does not bode well for the effective functioning of the Legislature.
It is no secret that Zuma is seeking to re-assert his influence over the ANC caucus at Parliament after dozens of his MPs voted in support of the 8 August Motion of No Confidence in him.
Zuma seems unconcerned about the effect this move will have on Parliament where ANC infighting is already undermining parliamentary work.
The decision to send Dlamini-Zuma to Parliament also seems to precipitate yet another Cabinet reshuffle. Those members of Zuma’s Cabinet who were outspoken in the run-up to the vote, and those who belong to the rebellious SACP, are certain to be in the firing line.
Dlamini-Zuma’s elevation to MP and likely Cabinet minister seems to be a carefully orchestrated move to buttress her presidential campaign. It amounts to nothing less than state resources being used to support a candidate for the ANC presidency.
The DA sees Dlamini-Zuma for what she is – more of the same from the ANC. As a strong supporter and close family to Jacob Zuma, Dlamini-Zuma will only protect the president and his allies while deliberately ignoring the interests of South Africa and its people. Her interests only lie on protecting the corrupt and failed legacy of Jacob Zuma, the Guptas and the ANC.
We must also not forget Dlamini-Zuma’s intransigence and contempt of Parliament in her former role as Minister of Health in 1995. Amid the scandal surrounding the exorbitant cost of production of the musical, Sarafina II, Dlamini-Zuma simply refused to present herself to the Portfolio Committee on Health. Worse still, ANC members serving on the committee stubbornly closed ranks and chose party loyalty over fulfilling their oversight function. This despite the Public Protector’s damning findings a year later highlighting the mismanagement of tender procedures and unauthorised expenditure of foreign aid.
It’s all too familiar and reminds of the shambles in the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration where a rebellion by ANC MPs targeting outspoken Chairperson, Makhosi Khoza, resulted in complete inertia. Indeed, Faith Muthambi’s abscondment from Parliamentary oversight is straight out of the NDZ playbook.
The DA does not appreciate ANC infighting impacting on the People’s business at Parliament. We cannot allow party politics to bring the Legislature to a grinding halt. Dlamini-Zuma’s deployment to parliament is not being done in good faith.