DA takes state capture fight to public and private sector

2017-09-22 19:43
DA leader Mmusi Maimane (File, Jan Gerber, News24)

DA leader Mmusi Maimane (File, Jan Gerber, News24)

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Cape Town – The DA is taking its fight against state capture to the private sector, with Parliament the main battlefield.

"We maintain that everyone involved in state capture – ministers, companies, and any other individuals – be summoned to Parliament to be interrogated and held accountable if found guilty," said DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Friday, when he and DA chief whip John Steenhuisen and chairperson of the DA federal council James Selfe addressed the media on the party's plans to combat state capture.

"We need to urgently get to the bottom of state capture and its corrosive effect on our nation and its people."

Maimane said the recent revelations that private sector companies KPMG and McKinsey allegedly aided Gupta-aligned companies to profit from government contracts "drove home the uncomfortable reality that our country has truly been captured in its entirety". 

"As the DA, we maintain that anyone implicated in any form of corruption, collusion or state capture – in either the public and private sector – must be held accountable and face the consequences of their actions," he said.

Maimane referred to the allegations that international auditing firm KPMG provided technical advice to Gupta-aligned companies and helped them move funds from South Africa to Dubai. 

READ: KPMG booted off Business Leadership SA

"The firm assisted with tax avoidance advice as well as the setting up of shell companies, which assisted Gupta-owned Linkway Trading in laundering R30m in public funds to pay for the family's 2013 Sun City wedding," said Maimane.

"Since these revelations, the wheels of accountability have begun to turn at KPMG, with the forced resignation of at least seven of its top executives – including the firm's CEO and COO. Moreover, KPMG has signalled its intention to donate the profits earned to charity, and KPMG International has launched an internal investigation into this matter."

This does not mean that the DA is done with KPMG, it said. The party wants KPMG to take the following steps: 

–    Offer a public explanation of the details of the KPMG report into the SA Revenue Service's so-called rogue unit;

–    Make public all its dealings with those involved in state capture, including all Gupta-aligned companies and any government entities;

–    Remove every person implicated in any underhand work done for the Guptas; and 

–    Make public any bonuses or severance packages given to senior executives following their removal or forced resignation.

Charges against McKinsey

Maimane will also write to the governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago, requesting that he confirm whether senior management at KPMG, or anyone else employed by them, reported any suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Centre.

He also mentioned that the DA laid criminal charges of fraud, racketeering and collusion against international consultancy firm McKinsey, which "appears to have paved the way for Gupta-linked firm Trillian to make hundreds of millions of rands from Eskom as it sub-contracted 30% of its Eskom work to Trillian under the guise of 'supplier development'".

According to Maimane, the private sector has been "responsive to these allegations and initiated accountability", but when it comes to government, "those at the top have thus far gotten away with corruption, collusion and aiding state capture". 

"In particular, Cabinet ministers – including Malusi Gigaba, Lynne Brown, Des van Rooyen, Mosebenzi Zwane and Faith Muthambi among others – face a litany of state capture allegations. Yet to date, not one minister has been brought to account," said Maimane.

The DA wants Parliament to establish a disciplinary committee to deal with these ministers.

He fears "Parliament is in the process of breaching its constitutional obligations, again – as the Constitutional Court found it to have done in the infamous Nkandla matter".

Call for ad hoc committee

Steenhuisen described the tasking of four portfolio committees with investigating state capture as a "classic bait and switch" tactic – promising something good, but then replacing it with something ineffectual.

The DA believes an ad hoc committee should deal with state capture.

Maimane wrote to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to request that their draft resolution be placed on the order paper to establish an ad hoc committee into state capture by no later than October 31, 2017.

"The speaker has now been put on notice and must act without delay. Given this and the seriousness and importance of these matters, we must place on record that if the speaker does not issue the instruction concerned, we reserve our right to approach a court for appropriate relief," Maimane warned. 

LISTEN: POLOTIKI: | Episode 14: Connecting the dots - KPMG, SARS and the Guptas

Read more on:    mckinsey  |  kpmg  |  mmusi mai­mane  |  state capture

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