Maimane blasts 'puppet' Zuma for plundering SA

The Guptas are Zuma’s family friends and business partners of his son Duduzane. (GCIS)
The Guptas are Zuma’s family friends and business partners of his son Duduzane. (GCIS)

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma is a puppet on a string and every time the Gupta family pulls those strings, financial markets react and the rand plunges, said Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane in his weekly newsletter Bokamoso.

On the topic of state capture, which was also debated in the National Assembly this week, Maimane said although Zuma didn’t invent it, he "most certainly perfected it". 

“Since Jacob Zuma assumed office in 2009, he has deployed loyalists to every lever of power and patronage. He has captured the parastatals to be looted through tenders and contracts,” Maimane said. 

WATCH: EXCLUSIVE: Why Maimane believes Guptas haven't been charged for corruption

For the same reasons, Dudu Myeni has been reappointed chairperson of the South African Airways board and Brian Molefe got the job as Eskom CEO. 

“This explains why Shaun Abrahams was deployed to the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority], why Berning Ntlemeza is the head of the Hawks and why Tom Moyane was parachuted in at SARS – to keep the president and his cronies out of jail. 

The phases of state capture

“That was phase one,” Maimane said “in which Jacob Zuma captured the state. We have now moved on to phase two, in which the Guptas captured Jacob Zuma.” 

According to Maimane, Zuma had called members of the DA, including himself, puppets during the local government election campaign earlier this year. 

“Now, that’s rich coming from him. Because we no longer have a president, we have a puppet. Jacob Zuma is a puppet of the Guptas.” 

He cited the Waterkloof incident, when the Guptas had used the Pretoria Air Force Base as its own personal airstrip for the landing of a civilian plane in 2013, the Hawks’ alleged persecution of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, and the unexpected appointment of Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane as examples of the undue influence the Guptas had on Zuma. 

“When the Guptas say ‘we want to land at Waterkloof’, Zuma says: ‘I’ll notify air traffic control.’ When the Guptas say ‘get Gordhan’, Zuma says: ‘I’ll get the Hawks on it right away.’ When the Guptas say ‘we want a coal mine’, Zuma says: 'I'll go one better. I’ll give you your own minister of mineral resources'." Being a Gupta puppet is good business for Jacob Zuma and his family, Maimane said. 

The truth is that the ANC is “beyond redemption”, according to Maimane. “And so our salvation lies in building a new alternative. It depends on patriotic South Africans from all political traditions joining hands to stop the plunder,” he said.

“It is our duty to start the process of freeing our country from the grip of the Guptas.”

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