News24

DA against Rasool as US envoy

2010-08-04 14:18

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance on Wednesday urged President Jacob Zuma to immediately withdraw Ebrahim Rasool's candidacy as ambassador-designate to the United States.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had conceded on Tuesday that Rasool had been removed as Western Cape premier on the basis of allegations that journalists were paid to write positive stories about him, DA spokesperson Stevens Mokgalapa said.

"So we must ask the ANC government, what is the difference in the ethical eligibility criteria between being a premier and an ambassador?

"Surely the principles of good conduct apply to all public servants universally?

"If not, does this perhaps suggest that our diplomatic service is a clearing house for those who do not have the good standing to serve anywhere else in government or the public service?"

"And most importantly, what does it say to the US - one of South Africa's most important trading partners - of the esteem we hold them in that we would knowingly send them someone previously dismissed because of corruption allegations against them?" Mokgalapa asked.

ANC made charges

Clearly the ANC realised it had a prima facie case against Rasool otherwise it would never have taken such drastic action as withdrawing him as premier, Mokgalapa said.

How then, knowing that Rasool had allegations of unethical and possibly corrupt behaviour hanging over him, could the government appoint him as ambassador?

Rasool had said time and time again that if anyone had any charges against him, they should make them.

It would seem his own party had already made those charges and as such, Rasool's protestations should now be moot, Mokgalapa said.

Fellow DA MP Kenneth Mubu had written to Zuma on this matter on Wednesday and had yet to receive a response.

"In light of Mr Mantashe's revelations, this matter is given far greater urgency and I expect the government to adhere to its stated mission of rooting out corruption and taking decisive action," Mokgalapa said.