Investigate the Guptas - opposition parties

2016-03-16 21:16
Ajay and Atul Gupta. (Muntu Vilakazi, City Press)

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

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Watch the moment Mcebisi Jonas said Guptas offered him Nene's job

2016-03-16 19:21

Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas says the Guptas offered him the Minister of Finance before Nhlanhla Nene was fired.WATCH

Johannesburg - Following revelations that the Guptas were allegedly influencing government appointments, the ANC needed to consider whether President Jacob Zuma resigned or the party recalled him, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Wednesday.

In a notice of motion tabled in Parliament, Maimane called for the establishment of an ad hoc committee to investigate the "Guptas's capture of state resources".

The committee should inquire into the involvement of members of the Gupta family in the appointment processes for ministers, he said.

These included allegations by former MP Vytjie Mentor that she had been offered the post of public enterprises minister, and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas's admission that he had been offered the finance minister job.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula's appointment was also mentioned, as well as Minister Des Van Rooyen's brief finance ministry stint.

Maimane said Parliament was duty bound, in terms of the Constitution to oversee the executive.

"In the wake of ongoing allegations involving the Gupta family and President Zuma, the NA [National Assembly] must investigate the Gupta family's grip on the state's resources.

"If any undue influence or improper conduct is found, Parliament should recommend swift action be taken against all those who have compromised their oaths of office," he said.

Maimane said South Africa deserved to know if its elected government had allowed the family to dictate its affairs.

Maimane and DA shadow minister of finance David Maynier will on Thursday lay charges against the Guptas at the Cape Town police station.


UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the Guptas' behaviour could be described as "treason".

He praised Jonas for making the "shocking" confirmation.

"His bold decision demonstrates his commitment to his oath of office and confirms that at least within the ruling party there are some who put South Africa and its citizens first," Holomisa said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, they have not captured the government of South Africa without the knowledge of President Zuma. In fact, they surely have his approval and probably a mandate too."

It was impossible to believe that the Gupta family were not in total control of the country, he said.

'Rendered SA's democratic system useless'

The EFF said Jonas's confirmation vindicated them after it claimed that the Guptas accused the party of "rumour-mongering".

"These developments demonstrate one fact that South Africa is directly under leadership of unelected civilian foreign-national family, which is controlling  and influencing the decisions and lives of politicians, in particular that of Jacob Zuma," spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.

"The Guptas have effectively undermined and rendered the votes of the people of South Africa and the democratic system useless."

The EFF claimed that this demonstrated that the ANC and Zuma had voluntarily handed over the political decision making of the country to the Guptas. This was a direct threat to the sovereignty and national security of the country.

Ndlozi said these developments further strengthened the EFF's conviction not to take part in Thursday's question and answer session with Zuma in Parliament.

"The EFF will continue to demand that the Guptas leave the country, but not before they face the full might of the law."

'Undue influence'

The IFP has called for a judicial enquiry into "undue influence" of Cabinet appointments.

"We believe that there are other members of the executive and senior leaders of government who may know about other issues of this nature, but have not come out as openly as the deputy minister," IFP chief whip Narend Singh said in a statement.

"This admission therefore bodes well for transparency in our country."

He said the IFP believed that the Guptas influence was  something which started recently.

"In the same context we do not believe that they have done so on their own, they are almost certainly getting some form of instruction from higher up in order to be able to have such an influence on the running of the country and on the future of our economy."

Profound implications for Zuma

The UDM has suggested to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, that the joint standing committee on intelligence investigate the relationship and the impact on the security and economy of the country.

"We advise the ANC to do itself a favour and cleanse itself of this monumental embarrassment and probably regain some of the credibility they have lost since the coming of President Zuma into the public office. 

"However, if they fail and continue to do what they have been doing since 2009, defending one scandal after another of one man, then the electorate must heavily punish them on the ballot box," said Holomisa.

The FF Plus said Jonas's confirmation of the meeting would have profound implications for Zuma.

FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder claimed this weakened Zuma's position in the public eye and most probably within the ANC as well.

The logical conclusion now was that "gossip" regarding Nhlanhla Nene's removal of finance minister were also correct, he said in a statement.

The FF Plus called for a judicial commission into the Guptas's influence and role in government.

Mulder said Zuma should use his question and answer time in Parliament on Thursday to address the issue and give his side of the story.

Read more on:    da  |  ff plus  |  anc  |  udm  |  eff  |  ifp  |  gupta family  |  politics

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