Parliament should check Zuma out - DA

2013-10-15 20:54
(Picture: Beeld)

(Picture: Beeld)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Parliament should investigate President Jacob Zuma's alleged involvement in the landing of a private aircraft at the Waterkloof Air Force Base, the DA said on Tuesday.

"I asked Parliament to establish an ad hoc committee in terms of rule 214(1), to investigate President Zuma’s conduct in the Guptagate scandal," Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said in a statement.

Lieutenant Colonel Christine Anderson reportedly said in an affidavit at a military tribunal that she was told by Bruce Koloane that Zuma had been aware of the plan and had personally asked about progress.

Koloane was the chief of state protocol at the time, but has since been demoted. A report by the justice department said he and other senior officials had acted alone.

Anderson was accused, in a government task team report, of colluding with Koloane to authorise the landing.

Allegations about Zuma's involvement were refuted as hearsay by the presidency on Thursday.

"While it would not be appropriate to discuss matters that are being addressed at the tribunal, we wish to state categorically that there is no truth to the allegation," presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said at the time.

On Tuesday, Mazibuko said: "In response to my request and substantive motion, the then acting Speaker of the National Assembly Nomaindia Mfeketo maintained that these reports did not constitute prima facie evidence for an investigation to take place.

"Furthermore, she asserted that a breach of the Executive Ethics Code was to be investigated by the public protector and Parliament could not conduct a concurrent investigation."

Right and duty to investigate President

She said Mfeketo's reasoning was flawed as the reports of Zuma's involvement in the 30 April landing emanated from an affidavit.

An affidavit was substantive evidence, and if the acting Speaker disagreed, she should then clarify what standard of substantive evidence she required, Mazibuko said.

Nothing in the Constitution, the Public Protector Act, or the Executive Ethics Act prevented Parliament from conducting a parallel investigation to the public protector's.

"In fact, Parliament has both the constitutional right and duty to investigate the president for violations of the Executive Ethics Code," said Mazibuko.

"Stating that a concurrent investigation with the public protector would reflect negatively on the competence of her office is bizarre and not supported by precedent."

Former communications minister Dina Pule was investigated by both Parliament and the public protector at the same time.

Mazibuko said she set out her case to in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu on Tuesday.

"The ill-conceived rejection of my substantive motion for the establishment of this ad hoc committee must be revised."

Zuma had again brought the integrity of the office of the presidency into question, and as members of Parliament and in the public interest, they had a duty and responsibility to ensure the matter was fully investigated, she said.

This was so that if there was wrongdoing by the president, he would be held accountable.

SANDF tribunal secret

"The Constitution holds that Parliament represents the people of South Africa by scrutinising and overseeing executive action. The DA will ensure that this provision is upheld," she said.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) said on Wednesday that sharing information about the military tribunal into the aircraft's landing was against the law.

"In accordance with... the Military Discipline Supplementary Measures Act 16 of 1999, the proceedings at a preliminary investigation are held in camera," SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said in a statement.

"Those who are responsible for discussing in the media the preliminary investigation proceedings must refrain from such as it is in contravention of the... act. The SANDF military courts regard this matter as sub judice."

A chartered commercial aircraft, Jet Airways flight JAI 9900 from India, ferrying more than 200 guests to the wedding of Vega Gupta, 23, and Indian-born Aakash Jahajgarhia, landed at the base in April.

The landing sparked widespread criticism and several investigations were launched.

The government investigation exonerated Zuma and his ministers, and found that the landing was the result of "collusion by officials".

Read more on:    sandf  |  johannesburg  |  gupta wedding  |  aviation  |  gupta jet

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.