Motion for Parliament to investigate state capture fails

2016-09-08 17:49
FILE: Ajay and Atul Gupta. (Muntu Vilakazi, City Press)

FILE: Ajay and Atul Gupta. (Muntu Vilakazi, City Press)

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Cape Town – State capture was not a new phenomenon, political parties argued on Thursday.

But President Jacob Zuma had perfected it, according to Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane.

Allegations of state capture were under the spotlight in the National Assembly on Thursday as political parties took to the podium, focusing their anger on one family, the Guptas.

Opposition MPs claimed that ministers Mosebenzi Zwane, Des Van Rooyen and Fikile Mbalula, as well as various premiers, were captured by the well known family.

Debating a motion by DA MP David Maynier, Maimane said Zuma had deployed loyalists to every lever of power and patronage.  

"Because we no longer have a president, we have a puppet. Jacob Zuma is a puppet of the Guptas. When the Guptas say 'jump', Zuma says, 'how high?' When the Guptas say 'fire [Nhlanhla] Nene', Zuma says, 'he’ll be gone by the end of the week'," Maimane said.

'Hired gun'

Maynier called on South Africans to rise up against state capture.

He said the recent debacle over his call for a judicial inquiry into South Africa’s banking system, following the decision by the country’s banks to withdraw banking facilities from the Gupta family, was a clear illustration of state capture.

"With a minister acting, not in the public interest, but in the private interests of one family, and that family is, the Guptas," he said.

He referred to Zwane as a hired gun, carrying out a political hit on the financial sector.

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Fana Mokoena said it was a sad day that Parliament had to call a motion to debate one family.

"The Guptas have already received R400m in bribe money for the nuclear deal from the Russians and they are going to do everything to protect that deal."

'No reason for Parliament to investigate'

Other major concerns they had, he said, was that state capture meant taking money away from education and housing. 

National Freedom Party MP Sibusiso Mncwabe said state capture was not new phenomenon. 

He said they would not support the call for the establishment of an ad hoc committee to investigate state capture. 

He said Bantu Education in the apartheid era was a form of state capture. 

Since an ad hoc committee wasn’t formed when the apartheid government was stealing land and rights, they would not support it now, Mncwabe said.

ANC MP Priscilla Mantashe said the ANC was not pro-corruption. 

"Our belief is, there are institutions given the right to investigate corruption. This Parliament has no reason to investigate," she said.

She said the DA were the architects of corporate capture of the state. 

'Legitimacy of state is at risk'

ANC MP Joanmarie Fubbs lectured MPs on corporate capture of the state. 

"The legitimacy of the state is at risk because of the prolonged capture of and by the private sector. Before that, by colonialists."

There was a difference, she said, between state and government.

Another ANC MP said Parliament should not be reduced to an investigative tool. 

Maynier’s motion called for the establishment of an ad hoc committee to investigate undue influence over the government and alleged state capture of state resources.

It also called for the committee to recommend measures to prevent such incidents from happening.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu proposed an amendment to the motion, calling for such allegations to be referred to the police or Chapter 9 institutions for investigation.

The amendment fell away, as it was outside of the scope. 

The DA motion failed after ANC MPs managed to fill up benches, which had been empty during the debate.

Following the debate, 169 voted against the motion, 103 voted in favour, and one MP abstained. 

Read more on:    politics  |  parliament 2016

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