Min­is­ters are in the fir­ing line

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

PAR­LIA­MENT has be­come the lat­est bat­tle­ground be­tween sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and his de­trac­tors.

The re­cent mul­ti­ple com­mit­tee in­ves­ti­ga­tions or­dered by the House into the in­flu­ence of Zuma’s friends, the Gup­tas, and their as­so­ci­ates in gov­ern­ment have put the min­is­ters in­volved, who mostly sup­port the pres­i­dent, on the back foot.

Port­fo­lio com­mit­tees of home af­fairs, pub­lic en­ter­prise and trans­port are set to in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture by the Gup­tas.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter and former Home Af­fairs min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba, Min­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Mosebenzi Zwane and Min­is­ter of Pub­lic En­ter­prises Lynne Brown are among those in the fir­ing line. Last week, fum­ing MPs sum­moned Gi­gaba to Par­lia­ment to ex­plain the process of mak­ing some of the Gupta fam­ily mem­bers SA cit­i­zens.

Even Zuma said he was sur­prised that there were mul­ti­ple in­ves­ti­ga­tions in Par­lia­ment, ar­gu­ing that he would pre­fer a sin­gle com­pre­hen­sive probe by the com­mis­sion of in­quiry he was set­ting up.

ANC sec­re­tary- gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe told the Gaut­eng pro­vin­cial gen­eral coun­cil that al­ready four party mem­bers had con­firmed the ve­rac­ity of the leaked Gupta e-mails. They showed how the Gup­tas in­flu­enced ap­point­ments of se­nior board mem­bers to some of the state-owned en­ter­prises.

One se­nior ANC MP said there was no agenda against any­one in the in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the com­mit­tees.

An­other party MP said the com­mit­tees wanted to probe de­part­ments and min­is­ters im­pli­cated in state cap­ture. He said he did not read any po­lit­i­cal mo­tive into it, ex­cept the iden­ti­fied de­part­ments and min­is­ters. The com­mit­tees tasked with the job were served with let­ters that they would have to un­der­take the task, he said.

House chair­man Cedric Frolick yes­ter­day de­fended his de­ci­sion to set up the in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture, say­ing there was no agenda against any­one ahead of the pol­icy and elec­tive con­fer­ences of the ANC.

Frolick said port­fo­lio com­mit­tees did not have dead­lines un­less they were mak­ing ap­point­ments to the boards of state-owned en­ti­ties or re­spond­ing to Con­sti­tu­tional Court judg­ments.

ANC spokesper­son Zizi Kodwa said there were is­sues that re­quired ur­gent in­ves­ti­ga­tion and could not wait for a com­mis­sion of in­quiry.

He said Par­lia­ment was cor­rect to set up mul­ti­ple in­ves­ti­ga­tions be­cause of the ur­gency in some mat­ters.

“There are is­sues that can’t wait. If a min­is­ter shared sen­si­tive cabi­net in­for­ma­tion, that can­not wait for a com­mis­sion,” said Kodwa. “We must in­ves­ti­gate the ve­rac­ity of the al­le­ga­tions be­cause at the heart of them is the in­tegrity of the state.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.