Quest for clarity on Zuma’s inquiry role
Nzimande says Gupta emails look genuine, serious matter
THE SA Communist Party wants the Constitutional Court to clarify who can set up a judicial commission of inquiry if the president is implicated in an alleged crime.
The SACP has called for a commission of inquiry into state capture to be set up to look into allegations the Gupta family improperly influenced government officials for financial gain.
Last year, the public protector’s office released its State of Capture report, which implicated President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta brothers in alleged acts of state capture.
Zuma wants the public protector’s recommendations to be reviewed by the high court. ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the inquiry would date back to 1994.
SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande yesterday said the leaked Gupta emails implicating Zuma and his son Duduzane were a serious matter.
“Our view that we shared with the ANC NEC is that this commission be set up as a matter of urgency. Possibly, this matter requires direct clarity by the Constitutional Court on what does one do in the event where the president who sets up the commission is also implicated,” said Nzimande.
On Friday, the ANC said the government should probe the veracity of the leaked emails.
Nzimande said: “It’s a bit difficult but they do look genuine from some of the responses from the people who have not questioned the authenticity, but are trying to give us an explanation of why they did what they did. No one has come out categorically to say these emails are false. It’s very interesting also that no action has been taken against the media who have been reporting this. They do look genuine.”
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has insisted he has done nothing wrong. This after the emails revealed immigration officials may have been “captured” by the Guptas, including two who were specially positioned in India by Gigaba’s office when he was home affairs minister.
Emails show how senior Gupta employee Ashu Chawla repeatedly asked officials to fast-track visas to benefit Gupta businesses associates.
Nzimande said the inquiry into the emails and their veracity should be done as soon as possible, and the scope should not be too big.
“Although we must not exclude other forms of state capture in the inquiry, it must not be so wide it doesn’t end. The most immediate threat we are facing is this Gupta-linked parasitic networks, but this does not mean other things cannot be touched upon.”.
He said the SACP was worried about the relationship between the president, Duduzane and the Gupta family. “There are lots of complications about the role of the president and his son. This just does not look good. It’s a matter we have raised inside the alliance. We don’t want to be judges, hence the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry. In terms of what is in the public domain now, it is very serious. The idea of a silent coup is not far-fetched,” Nzimande said.
He said the alliance partners were supposed to meet yesterday to host an alliance political council to discuss the rift caused by infighting and calls for Zuma to step down, but the ruling party asked for a postponement.
“The ANC requested we postpone because it wants to engage with the process differently. We want issues facing the country, for example the toxic role of the Guptas, to be confronted head-on. We can no longer be fooling around while the country is faced with serious threats,” Nzimande said.
silent coup is not farfetched
WORRIED: Blade Nzimande