The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes a report over the weekend which suggests that the South African Communist Party (SACP) took a R3 million “bribe” from VBS Mutual Bank in return for their silence on the bank’s relationship with the Gupta family.
The SACP allegedly requested millions from VBS to fund the party’s national congress last year, supposedly in exchange for the party’s silence on VBS reopening the Guptas’ business accounts. Vele investments, the majority stakeholder of the bank, used one of its subsidiary companies (MML Food Services) to pay the SACP’s bill for the use of the Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg. The payment was seemingly made from the subsidiary company to conceal any links between the bank and the SACP.
These allegations are a damning indictment on the SACP, and if they are true, the party must pay back every cent.
The SACP continuously parades itself as champions of the people yet this is not the first time the party has been caught out colluding with the defunct bank, which stole billions from our people.
Just last week, the SACP in Limpopo suspended its provincial secretary and former Capricorn District Municipality Mayor, Gilbert Kganyago, whose council illegally deposited R60 million into VBS.
The DA stands firm in its stance that all those implicated in looting and stealing from the poor and vulnerable need to be held accountable for their actions.
The SACP presents itself as being relentless in its pursuit of investigations into corruption, and it is therefore deeply concerning to find that they are as corrupt as those they seek to scrutinize.
Countless South Africans have lost their life savings and ordinary residents in municipalities which illegally deposited billions into the bank will soon bear the brunt of stagnant services.
It is clear that the DA is the only party which has sincerely fought against the scourge of corruption at VBS and will continue to do so.
The DA is not surprised by President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle, the latest move in Zuma’s war against anyone who opposes his project of State Capture. The obvious target was SACP leader, Dr. Blade Nzimande, who follows Pravin Gordhan, Derek Hanekom, Mcebisi Jonas and others who have failed to toe the Zuma line and have found themselves out of office.
The SACP has been dealt an insulting blow, and they must now decide how long they will put up with this abuse, or if they will now do what they know is right, and begin to work outside the ANC.
Blade’s axing has also provided the pretext for yet another reshuffling of Zuma sycophants, none more pliant than new Minister of Energy, David Mahlobo. This smacks of an attempt to reignite the ANC’s efforts to chain our country to a multibillion rand nuclear deal with the Russians.
This reshuffle has nothing to do with effecting good governance, and ensuring the best people serve our country. On the contrary, Jacob Zuma appears to be firing his critics, and offering promotions in exchange for support ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in December this year.
This just reaffirms what the DA has said all along – the ANC exists solely an organisation committed to self-enrichment and self-advancement – all at the expense of the South African people.
Come 2019, South Africans must use their power to vote out this self-serving ANC government at the ballot box, and choose a new beginning for our country.
The future of South lies in a post-ANC South Africa, free from corruption and State Capture, and focused on our nation’s new struggle – the struggle for access to jobs. Our fight is to ensure that all South Africans can enter the economy, find meaningful work, and create a better life for themselves and their loved ones.
The following remarks were delivered by DA Leader Mmusi Maimane at an event today where he delivered to Deputy President Ramaphosa a petition signed by 1 million South Africans calling for President Zuma to be fired.
My fellow South Africans,
People often ask me: “What can ordinary South Africans do to save our country from the looting that is taking place?”
People want to step into the fight. They feel justifiably angry, but they also feel powerless. They see the evidence against Jacob Zuma and Guptas piling up like this big, flat mountain here next to us, but to them it seems like the guilty are getting away with it.
And to these people I say: Do everything you possibly can. March with us. Write to an MP. Use your vote. Sign a petition. Exhaust every single avenue. Because together these actions cannot go unnoticed.
Today I have brought with me the signatures of over a million South Africans who did just that. More than a million South Africans who want us, the Members of the National Assembly, to put our country first and fire Jacob Zuma.
And I have brought them here to the steps of Tuynhuys so that I can leave them in the hands of the Deputy President. Because if anyone needs reminding of exactly what must be done to save our country, it is Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mr Ramaphosa, I call on you today to do what you know is the right thing. There is only one ethical and honourable course of action here. You know it, I know it, and every single South African knows it.
We call on you to vote to fire President Zuma in next week’s Motion of No Confidence. We also call on you to use your position as Leader of Government Business to encourage ANC MPs to vote in accordance with their oaths of office, and to vote President Zuma out.
Three weeks ago you told the world that you will not remain quiet when it comes to the looting of our country through state capture. You said:
“When things like these are spewing out in our national discourse, we cannot turn a blind eye. We cannot keep quiet. We now know without any shred of uncertainty that billions of Rands of public money have been diverted into the pockets of a few.”
Those are fighting words. But words mean nothing until you put them in action.
For the millions of South Africans who suffer every day in this country under this disastrous government, your loyalty to the ANC means nothing. They want straight answers and they want accountability. They want you to do your job.
And when you say you will not remain silent about those who are looting our country, the people of South Africa want you to speak up where it really matters. Not at an SACP congress. Not in interviews. Not in the media.
No, if you want to show us you are a man of your word – a man of integrity – then raise your voice where it matters. As the Leader of Government Business, you are arguably the most influential voice in the cabinet and in the ANC caucus. This is where you must not remain silent.
Because if you’re out there in the spotlight of the media saying one thing, but doing the exact opposite in the benches of the ANC and behind the closed doors of caucus and cabinet meetings, then there is only one conclusion South Africans can draw: You cannot be trusted.
Apart from your own sworn duty to your country – which compels you to do the right thing and vote in favour of the Motion of No Confidence next week – you have a responsibility to hold your ANC colleagues to their duty too.
Some of these colleagues have spoken out recently and said that they intend to vote with their conscience. MP’s like Makhosi Khoza, Pravin Gordhan and Mondli Gungubele. But these people have been threatened with disciplinary action – even with their jobs. Is this what you fear too, Mr Ramaphosa?
It seems that if you have a conscience in the ANC, you are done. This is something Gwede Mantashe confirmed on Monday when he said: “If they had a conscience, they should have discovered it before they agreed to be in Parliament on an ANC list.”
Surely this cannot be true, Mr Ramaphosa? Gwede Mantashe must be wrong. Surely there must be space within your party for men and women to act with courage of conviction; to put South Africa first.
We’ve been here on seven occasions in the past. And in seven previous Motion of No Confidence votes you and your colleagues in the ANC benches chose to stand behind a corrupt president rather than the people of South Africa.
This eighth vote will likely be the last chance you will have to prove yourselves. If you fail to use it, you will sink along with the ANC.
Whether by secret ballot or open ballot, there is only one possible correct vote on this motion. Anything other than support for the motion will be a dereliction of your duty, and this includes a choice to abstain from voting.
Anyone who aspires to the highest office in the land has to stand with the people. This should go without saying.
The signatures in these boxes represent the will of the people. There is no grey area when it comes to what is expected of you. The ball is in your court now. Let your conscience guide you, and know that the people will not forget your decision.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has today taken a decision to table a Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma – in terms of Section 102 of the Constitution – following his now confirmed intention to fire Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his Deputy, Mcebisi Jonas. I have therefore written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete, in this regard, indicating our intention to have the motion debated and voted on by Parliament once it is back in session.
At a time when 9 million South Africans are without work and our fragile economy requires leadership and clear policy direction, President Zuma continues to play “Russian Roulette” with our economy and the future of our country.
Since his reckless and irrational decision to recall Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his Deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, from an international roadshow to boost investment, growth and job creation in South Africa, the gains made by Gordhan and Jonas to restore credibility in our economy following the disastrous firing of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, 15 months ago, have all but been eviscerated.
This is negatively affecting all South Africans – but in particular the poor and the jobless whose only hope is a growing and inclusive economy.
Zuma has threatened our economy by dangling the possibility of firing Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his Deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, before the country, and before the world, by using a bizarre and seemingly last minute “security report” to justify such removals. This is nothing more than an attempt at total state capture and cannot be accepted.
The President’s actions confirm what we already know: Zuma has abandoned the interests of the people, the economy and South Africa in favour of a kleptocratic Guptamocracy, where the keys to the Treasury and the Government are made available to anyone who puts Zuma first and the people last. The Treasury stands as the last line of defence against Zuma and his project of state capture and unfettered looting.
Such a crisis was seen previously during the Nenegate crisis of December 2015. That President Zuma has indicated his intention to go down the same destructive path shows that he has lost all sense of rationality and sound judgement. These actions will result directly in job losses and will thus be most profoundly felt by the poor and most vulnerable citizens in South Africa. President Zuma’s derelict leadership has resulted in a collapse of public confidence in the President of the Republic of South Africa, has created a government at war with itself and ultimately has undermined efforts to restore confidence in the South African economy. There can be no confidence in such a President.
Parliament hired Jacob Zuma, and Parliament must now fire Jacob Zuma. Only Parliament can act now – the Courts do not have the authority to remove a sitting president.
Therefore it is vital that a Motion of No Confidence be tabled against the calamitous, corrupt and job-killing Zuma presidency. For the sake of the country and the people, it is important that Members of Parliament, regardless of political affiliation, come together and put South Africa and our people first by removing Zuma from the Union Buildings.
We therefore call on all political parties to support our motion – including the South African Communist Party’s (SACP) deployees to Parliament. This is in light of their public pronouncements earlier today, in which it was confirmed that the removal of Gordhan and Jonas was discussed with its leadership, and that the party publically denounces Zuma’s assault on the National Treasury and the economy.
The SACP, along with the growing and increasingly public opposition to the Zuma leadership within the ANC, are now afforded the opportunity to put action to their words and support our motion.
This a call to remove Zuma before he destroys our economy and our shared future.