Deputy speaker among thousands protesting state capture
CAPE TOWN - Deputy National Assembly Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli’s presence loomed large during Wednesday’s nationwide marches against state capture, as the senior alliance leader vowed that he could no longer remain silent on the matter.
Parliament is investigating allegations of state capture against the controversial Gupta family, who have been accused of using their friendship with President Jacob Zuma to loot the state coffers.
Thousands of workers aligned to COSATU on Wednesday took the fight against state capture to the streets, where they also showed they wanted Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to replace Zuma.
The protest also became a platform to once again intensify calls made by COSATU and the SACP for Zuma to step down as President.
Tsenoli, who marched in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, said his participation would not affect the investigations of Parliament into state capture.
“I am not part of those committees who investigate state capture and I do not participate in their investigations,” he said.
Tsenoli, a central committee member of the SACP, said his participation in the march was to deal with the inappropriateness of state capture. “I am a member of the SACP and the ANC and cannot remain silent on these matters,” he said.
SACP boss Blade Nzimande urged all public sector unions to set aside their differences and focus on stopping “parasites” from stealing their pension funds.
Nzimande, who is also the minister of Higher Education, made the call to labour unions despite Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s assurances that government employees’ pension funds were safe
He said the call for the ANC to “self correct” was just like a mirage, saying “it would never happen”.
Despite some anticipating looting and mayhem in Cape Town’s CBD, the march went off without incident on Wednesday.