DA angered by Parliament’s claim that no one will be arrested for state capture

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply angered and dismayed by Parliament’s announcement that no one will be prosecuted for state capture until at least the end of the year.

A document sent by Parliament’s research unit to the portfolio committee on public service and administration on Monday, casually stated that “It would not be prudent to act on information and evidence now until the Commission makes a determination on the matter because it would be sub judice and therefore litigious against the State and prosecuting authorities to act on it.”

Given that the Zondo Commission into State Capture has already applied for an extension until the end of the year, this is an indication that there may be no plans to carry out any arrests until at least the end of the year.

This is nothing more than an effort to protect the ANC’s state capture criminals, who virtually looted our country into bankruptcy, from accountability. There is simply no legal reason why state capture criminals cannot be arrested during the term of the Zondo Commission.

In today’s portfolio committee on public service and administration, I will raise this matter as a point of urgency, as the looters and thieves simply cannot get away with what they have done.

This statement from Parliament likely helps explain why not a single ANC criminal is wearing an orange overall for state capture, with many of them instead still sitting members of the same Parliament that issued this announcement.

It may also reveal the existence of a deliberate strategy by the ANC and President Cyril Ramaphosa to deceive the people of this country by repeatedly promising arrests while knowing full well that there will be no action taken against state capturers.

The DA will not rest until we have uncovered the full truth of the ANC’s plan to shield state capturers from accountability. In addition to demanding answers in today’s committee meeting, we will also submit a series of parliamentary questions to relevant ministers for more information on this scheme.

We will not rest until there is justice for the people of South Africa, including the 30.4 million people who have been locked into desperate poverty by the ANC’s state capture project.

The ANC’s Rogues Gallery: the wolves in shepherds’ clothing

This month, before the Commission of Enquiry into State Capture, Justice Raymond Zondo was unequivocal: the 4th and 5th Parliaments failed utterly in their constitutional duty to keep the executive to account.

The 6th Parliament cannot afford to follow the same route.

One of the things that the 6th Parliament can do to ensure we do not follow the same route as our predecessors is to ensure that Ministers appear before portfolio committees and are vigorously asked to account for their departments’ annual financial statements. We need to fearlessly interrogate their performance on key indicators such as building proper school infrastructure and connecting homes to running water and other services.

The truth is, however, that a great many of the ANC’s chairperson candidates have allegations of corruption hanging over their heads or have a proven track record of disregard for good governance and disrespect for the institution of Parliament.

They have been set to guard over our committees, but in actual fact, they are wolves in shepherds’ clothing.

The ANC candidates

Rosina Semenya, the ANC’s nominee for chairperson of the Human Settlements, Water & Sanitation committee, who earned herself the nickname of “sleepist” during the last Parliament might do nothing worse than doze off while her flock is carried away, and therefore seems almost benign when compared to some of the other dangerous wolves that are set to be handed shepherds’ staffs.

Of particular concern are:

  • Mosebenzi Zwane (Transport) – notorious for his role in the Estina dairy farm project, which saw the Gupta family loot millions of Rands from the Free State government to pay for a luxurious wedding for their niece.
  • Supra Mahumapelo (Tourism) – gave millions in tenders to the Gupta family and refused to share/release damning forensic reports while cities and towns fell apart and health services in his province all but collapsed.
  • Bongani Bongo (Home Affairs) – Bongo was the Zuma-deployed Minister of State Security and has racked up numerous allegations of corruption and bribery against him, most infamously during the inquiry into state capture at Eskom, when he tried to bride Adv. Vanara.
  • Tina Joemat-Petterson (Police) – Joemat-Petterson allegedly sold off the country’s strategic fuel reserves, at well-below market value, without the requisite permission while she was Minister of Energy.
  • Dr. Sibongiseni Dlomo (Health) – MEC for Health in Kwazulu-Natal when the collapse of oncology services in that province deprived hundreds of thousands of cancer patients of treatment.
  • Faith Muthambi (COGTA) – Generally considered a corrupt and failing minister. She leaked confidential state information to the Gupta family and lied to Parliament’s ad hoc committee of inquiry into the crisis at the SABC.

The individuals above are but a sample of the more problematic candidates.

Others include Mondli Gungubele, accused of misleading the Mphati Commission; Sfiso Buthelezi, who has allegations of corruption against him from his days as Chairperson of the PRASA Board and Mapulane Phillemon, similarly with charges of tender fraud hanging over his head.

The ANC under pressure in the NCOP

In the NCOP, the ANC has a very small majority. They occupy 29 out of 54 seats. This has already caused the governing party interesting headaches.

After realising that in two Select Committees they have only 6 out of 12members, the ANC rushed to add additional members to these committees to ensure that they have a majority.

During the first sitting of the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy on 26th June 2019, the ANC failed to elect their own nominee, having only mustered 4 provincial votes, while the DA’s nominee received 3. They then insisted on to reconvening an hour later to elect a Chairperson.

The ANC’s inconsistency in applying the Constitution and the Rules of the NCOP were evident during the sittings of other Select Committees. The members of some Select Committees on Finance and Appropriations voted individually to elect Chairpersons while in others voting was on a provincial basis. This is all in a desperate attempt to cling to power.

DA proposals

The DA will be laying formal complaints with Parliament’s Ethics Committee against committee chairpersons with substantial allegations against them, as they should not be eligible for these key positions of responsibility of responsibility they are in.

We will also, where appropriate, be putting forward our own candidates for the positions of committee chairpersons.

During previous Parliaments, at least one House Chairperson would also come from the opposition benches. The 5th Parliament had been the exception in this regard. It is for this reason that the DA moved for an amendment to the ANC’s draft resolution in the NA on Thursday. The ANC used their majority to vote against this.

The DA believes that we have a responsibility to build a strong and capable 6th Parliament that will fearlessly hold the president, ministers, and departments to account. With the country teetering on the knife edge where corruption is still rife, 10 million people are unemployed and citizens do not feel safe in their own homes, elected representatives have a duty to do all they can to fight for the people of South Africa.

PAIA application response from Presidency shows that ANC government has no plan to solve Eskom crisis

On Monday, I received an extraordinary reply from the Presidency in response to a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) request for the Cabinet Briefing Report from Deputy President Mabuza on the work of the joint Special Cabinet Committee on Eskom on the 27th February 2019. The Presidency have confirmed that the records and report that we have requested do not exist.

This committee  was established in response to recent electricity supply disruptions and the negative impact on the economy. However, what is astounding is the response from the Presidency. The Cabinet statement can be found here which confirms the existence of such a report.

What we are left with is either 1) Cabinet is lying to us and no report was actually prepared or delivered by the Deputy President or 2) The ANC does not want to release such a report and is covering up the true extent of the absolute chaos and crisis within Eskom.

Eskom has been hampered by corruption, costs and capacity issues. State Capture ripped the heart out of Eskom with corrupt contracts and tenders around diesel and coal. Eskom costs have soared – linked to the failing coal power plants of Medupi and Kusile with massive cost overruns, excessive executive pay and a bloated work force. The entity has failed to introduce new capacity and maintain existing capacity which has left South Africa at the mercy of rolling blackouts.

With Moody’s reserving their ratings judgment, the sword is hanging over the head of our economy and it has Eskom written all over it.

We need the ANC to be honest and upfront with us about the problems at Eskom. We cannot have further issues hidden and covered up. We call on the ANC to make public the reports on Eskom to keep the public informed. This crisis affects every part of society and we deserve to know what mess the ruling government has dropped us in.

The DA will continue to fight for a competitive, stable, affordable and transparent green energy sector.

DA Women’s Network rejects ANCWL attempts to shield Ramaphosa from accountability like they did Zuma

The Democratic Alliance (DA)  notes the statement of the ANC Women’s League today in response to our call for President Cyril Ramaphosa to appear before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

We are not surprised by the ANCWL’s attack on the DA as they have a well-documented history as defenders of corruption, patriarchy and violence against women by the male leaders of their declining organisation.

In its awkward and misplaced attempt to defend the President, the Women’s League fails to make any reference to the allegations arising from the Zondo Commission tying the President to Bosasa. They address neither the implications of those allegations for the President and his son, nor for the ANC as a whole if corroborated and proven. The statement is a blatant and poor attempt to drown out the substance and the importance of the testimony at the Zondo Commission in the noise of the toothless League.

As the New Dawn unravels at an accelerating pace in the face of Bosasagate, the Zuma-era party lists and job-killing load-shedding, we unfortunately, cannot expect a sensible reaction from the ANC Women’s League demonstrating any form of leadership or allegiance to the women, the poor and the vulnerable in our society.

It is evident from the statement of the Women’s League that not a single organ of the ANC remains with a grip on reality and an understanding of the true state of affairs in South Africa. It is ridiculous that anyone would, of their own accord, trumpet the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) as a success while South Africa has the world’s worst youth unemployment rate. With 3.3 million young people not engaged in any form of training or employment, NYDA has proven a most inefficient use of resources and a flagship failure for the ANC in their mandate to uplift the youth of South Africa.

The Women’s League has today demonstrated that they have been reduced to nothing but a vehicle for the defence of the mother body rather than an advocate for women’s rights.

The DA stands by its call for the President to demonstrate a commitment to accountability and transparency by appearing before the Zondo Commission, with his son Andile in tow, and to put before the South African people the whole truth about the President’s and his family’s links to Bosasa. South Africans must see the entire ANC for what it is and vote for a party that will put them and South Africa first.

Maimane writes to Zondo Commission requesting President Ramaphosa be subpoenaed to testify before 8 May

The revelations emanating from testimony before the Zondo Commission into State Capture yesterday confirm that President Ramaphosa and his family are deeply embroiled in a corruption and bribery scandal involving Bosasa.

Former Bosasa auditor, Peet Venter, testified under oath that President Ramaphosa’s son received cash from Bosasa, and just this morning the President’s son has been exposed in the media as admitting to receiving over R2 million from Bosasa for “services rendered”. This is in addition to an amount that President Ramaphosa calls a R500 000 donation to his internal ANC Election Campaign. What is now clear is that Bosasa and the Ramaphosa’s are working together in multiple transactions.

It simply cannot be that money from Bosasa so freely flows to the Ramaphosa family, without scrutiny. The President must explain to the nation under oath the full extent of the now exposed business relationship between himself, his family, and Bosasa.

Therefore, as Leader of the Opposition of the Republic, I have today written directly to Deputy Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo, as chair of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, requesting that he act in the public interest and subpoena President Cyril Ramaphosa to testify before the Commission ahead of the 8 May Elections.

South Africa deserves answers and the Zondo Commission is uniquely placed to seek the truth on this matter.

Just yesterday the President’s Spokeswoman unequivocally committed the President to appear before the Commission. It is thus in the hands of the Commission to facilitate such.

Bosasa has spent 20 years profiting from bribing ANC politicians to capture government contracts worth billions of rands. It now appears the Watsons are to the Ramaphosas what the Guptas are to the Zumas.

President Ramaphosa and his family are not above the law. The South African electorate cannot go to the polls without knowing the full truth about a compromised President who is running to be re-elected.

These revelations have shattered the well-peddled myth that corruption in the ANC was simply a feature of Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family. A system of corruption that builds a wall between insiders and outsiders is alive and well within the ANC.

Their remains a circle of secrecy between the Ramaphosa’s, ANC and Bosasa. It is crucial this secrecy is broken and South Africa is told the full truth about this corruption scandal involving the President.

ANC manifesto glosses over corruption and state capture

The ANC is not serious about tackling corruption head-on – and their manifesto is proof thereof.

Yesterday, surrounded by the architect of State Capture and his loyal henchmen, Cyril Ramaphosa, presented the ANC’s manifesto for the 2019 Elections. The manifesto promises to “put an end to state capture, restore the integrity of public institutions and tackle corruption”.

While these promises are all good and well, it is evident that the ANC chooses to gloss over its role in corruption which has had a devasting effect on the provision of services to our people.

The governing party is soft on corruption as is evident in their manifesto. Unlike the DA, they have no clear plan on how government should handle corruption as their only concern is to retain power and continue with their looting.

The ANC is incapable of self-correcting and promoting integrity in government, because they are the very people who erode good governance and destroy institutions.

The DA is the only party that has a track record of clean governance. We have a no-tolerance approach to corruption and under a DA government, anyone found guilty of corruption will be sentenced to 15 years in jail.

The DA’s plan to fight corruption is simple:

  • Establishing an independent unit dedicated to identifying, fighting and prosecuting corruption.
  • Ensuring the payment of all public money is transparent.
  • Bringing in direct elections for all political office holders so that the South African people can hold their president, premiers and mayors directly accountable.
  • Implementing regular lifestyle audits for all politicians and government officials.
  • Protecting and encouraging ‘whistleblowers’ who identify and report on corrupt activities.

Whilst the ANC celebrates the corrupt, the DA works to put them behind bars. The people of South Africa deserve a government which provides services and keeps them safe, not one which robs them of their futures.

Give South Africa its power back by implementing the DA’s plan, Minister Gordhan

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, requesting an urgent meeting on the electricity crisis in South Africa.

It is now time for the ANC government and Minister Gordhan to put politics aside and seriously consider the DA’s plan to ensure the country no longer has to endure the crippling effects of power blackouts.

The ANC government’s legacy of State Capture at Eskom has essentially cut our power and the time has come to cut Eskom’s monopoly over our power and ultimately the ANC’s power in next year’s elections.

The shortage of coal at several power stations, and the resultant effect of power blackouts, proves that Eskom’s monopoly on power production and supply needs to be broken up.

The Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill introduced by the DA seeks to achieve exactly this and save citizens money by ensuring that they have more options with regards to purchasing electricity.

Our ISMO Bill proposes that Eskom is divided into two entities: one to generate power and the other dedicated to power transmission. The power-generating division will compete with its independent counterparts on an equal footing, ensuring efficiency, stability and competitive prices.

Gordhan must now act in the best interest of South Africans and tackle the electricity crisis head-on. That the power utility is looking to spend R1 billion in the interim is an indictment on Eskom’s leadership. A long-term solution is desperately needed. The DA has a plan to ensure that we turn around Eskom in order to deal- decisively and permanently- with the entity’s problems.

The DA will also write to the Chairperson of the Eskom Board, Jabu Mabuza, asking him to submit supplementary affidavits to the DA’s charges against those who have been implicated in the coal catastrophe our country is currently facing.

The public can no longer be made to pay for the ANC’s failures. Minister Gordhan must now prove that he is committed to ending the crisis at Eskom and prioritising South Africans by meeting with the DA to discuss the ISMO Bill.

DA requests meeting with Minister Cele for update on SAPS State Capture investigations

The Democratic Alliance has written to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to request an urgent meeting to discuss the progress of investigations into charges the DA has laid related to State Capture. South Africans deserve an update and transparency from the police on these investigations and the developments therein.

The DA has been integral in countering the scourge of State Capture that has become endemic in the failing ANC government. This has been achieved through strong parliamentary oversight, the laying of criminal charges, strict reporting to the Public Protector and the driving of the creation of the Eskom Inquiry.

To date, the DA has laid these charges against the following relevant personnel and entities:

  • On the 17-Nov-16: Brian Molefe, in terms of the following acts, with regards to the Public Protector State Capture Report and Molefe’s abuse of powers in dealing with Gupta-owned entities
  • On the 28-Nov-16: Eskom and Trillian, CAS 70/11/2016. The DA’s affidavit concerns possible criminal and/or statutory offences committed
  • On the 27-Mar-17: Mantshela Koko, former CEO of Eskom, and his alleged acts of maleficence, CAS 2067/5/2017.
  • On the 20-Jul-17: Anoj Singh, former CFO of Eskom for his alleged part in state capture, CAS 1685/7/2017.
  • On the 19-Sep-17: McKinsey & Trillian for their alleged role in state capture CAS 1156/9/2017.
  • On the 29-Sep-17: SAP for implications of corruption, CAS 1800/9/2017.
  • On the 30-Sep-17: Just Coal and its alleged involvement in corruption, CAS 1803/9/2017.
  • On the 8-Mar-18: Bank of Baroda for their alleged involvement in illicit funds linked to the Guptas, CAS 454/3/2018.
  • On the 17-Apr-18: Denel for a Bursary of R1 million paid to the son of the North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo.
  • We have also laid charges against Transnet and Mr. Gama, former CEO of Transnet.

The police have a responsibility to investigate the charges against those who have been implicated in the looting of our state.

On Tuesday, 27 November 2018, my colleague, DA Shadow Minister of Police Zakhele Mbhele, and myself, will be visiting the Cape Town Central Police Station, in order to provide SAPS with additional information for the affidavits the DA has submitted thus far.

We will be supplementing our existing cases with the evidence provided by the following chapters in the explosive Treasury Report:

  • Chapter I: Final Report: Forensic Investigation into Various Allegations at Transnet
  • Chapter II: Mckinsey, Trillian and Regiments
  • Chapter III: Report relating to Eskom investigations

The DA will continue to fight for every rand that was stolen, so that every missing cent be returned to South Africa and so that those implicated in state capture are brought to book. South Africans want to see corrupted politicians, officials and corporates face the consequences of their actions and be put behind bars.

Treasury reports once again find Malusi Gigaba at the heart of State Capture

A series of damning forensic reports on Eskom and Transnet, released by National Treasury today, once again place Malusi Gigaba centre stage as it details the looting and mismanagement at these state-owned entities (SOEs).

Gigaba yesterday resigned as an ANC MP, following hot on the heels of his resignation as Minister of Home Affairs, probably in the vein hope that he can simply walk away from the key role he played in the State Capture project.

Not so. The DA will never allow Gigaba to just walk away.

Part one of National Treasury’s forensic report alone names Gigaba no fewer than 115 times and details his involvement in Transnet’s dodgy locomotive deal with China South Rail.

Specifically, it found that Gigaba signed as a witness when former CEO Brian Molefe signed the contract for 95 locomotives in 2012. It also details how Transnet provided Gigaba with security services amounting to some R675 000 per annum, even though as Minister of Public Enterprises he was already receiving VIP protection.

The report recommends that the Transnet Boards should quantify and recover fruitless and wasteful expenditure at the utility “from the relevant parties”, namely from Malusi Gigaba.

Treasury’s forensic reports will assist us in holding Gigaba accountable. He can never repay South Africa the billions looted from SOEs under his watch, but Gigaba must not be allowed to enjoy a comfortable retirement at taxpayers’ expense.

SARS must ensure that tax is paid on Zuma legal fees donations

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to Mark Kingon, Acting Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), to request that SARS ensure that donations tax be collected on all donations made towards the legal fees of former president Jacob Zuma.

According to media reports, a group of Zuma supporters have pledged to pay his R10 million cost order after the North Gauteng High Court dismissed his leave to appeal last week.

Millions in legal costs were incurred during Zuma’s fruitless attempts to have former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report reviewed and to set aside her remedial action, notably the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry into State Capture.

The court’s decision was a victory for vulnerable South Africans who have been suffering poor service delivery precisely as public funds were being diverted to pay for legal fees incurred by Zuma in his self-serving attempts to sanitize his leading role in the State Capture project.

It would be a miscarriage of justice if Zuma’s personal cost order is financed, much like his lifestyle, by a band of sympathizers. It would be even worse if these individuals avoid their tax obligations, too.

Zuma’s ruinous presidency has cost South Africa too much already.