Cyril urges NPA to do more

2018-01-19 13:45
ANC president Cyril  Ramaphosa.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.

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ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday urged the country’s law enforcement agencies to take more steps against those implicated in state capture than freezing assets.

Speaking at the pre-World Economic Forum breakfast in Sandton, Johannesburg, Ramaphosa said the seriousness of state capture allegations required decisive response from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

“We want to see action being taken against those that did wrong things. The freezing of assets is an important component, but we want to see a lot more,” he said.

The NPA had said it would be freezing R50 billion worth of assets and cash that investigators believe was acquired by individuals and companies through participation in state capture activities. The NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) has obtained preservation orders worth R1,6 billion against Gupta-linked companies McKinsey and Trillian.

“We want to deal with the rot. It is unacceptable, totally unacceptable, that companies owned by the nation and set up to benefit the people have been hijacked,” Ramaphosa said in reference to state-owned enterprises.

Companies and individuals with links to the controversial Gupta family are alleged to have used the family’s close ties with President Jacob Zuma to exert undue influence over state entities.

It has been suggested that Zuma, whose son Duduzane was a business associate of the Guptas, delayed the establishment of the state capture inquiry to protect the Guptas.

Despite former public protector Thuli Madonsela having recommended the establishment of the commission as far back as 2016, Zuma only implemented it a week ago.

In her probe, Madonsela identified a number of controversial meetings between the Guptas, ministers and heads of state entities.

Many of the former public protector’s recommendation were later corroborated by leaked e-mails between individuals in government and people linked to the Gupta family.

Current Public Protector Busi­siwe Mkhwabane and Zuma supporters, such as the ANC Women’s League, want the commission’s terms of reference to be broadened to cover instances of state capture in the apartheid era.

However, Ramaphosa has rejected the calls, saying the commission should confine itself to issues covered in Madonsela’s report.

There was speculation the ANC national executive committee (NEC) that met in Irene outside Pretoria yesterday would debate the terms of reference.

However, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said the matter did not come up for discussion at the NEC meeting as it was a government and not a political party matter.

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