DA accuses ANC of 'naked abuse of power'

The Democratic Alliance on Sunday refused to participate in any attempt to use Parliament to intimidate or interfere with the Scorpions in their investigation of Travelgate, the parliamentary travel-voucher scandal.

 

In a statement, the DA said the African National Congress’s threat to summon the Scorpions is “a naked abuse of power and an attempt to cover up the alleged corruption and misconduct of ruling-party MPs”.

The statement was an extract of a speech prepared for delivery by DA leader Tony Leon at the start of a weekend meeting of the DA’s federal council at Parliament in Cape Town.

“If ANC chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe wishes to complain about the slow pace of the investigation, he should look no further than his own party, which has been the major obstacle to the process and the major reason justice has been delayed,” the DA said.

Parliament opens this week under a cloud of suspicion. Forty MPs, including twenty-seven who are currently sitting, will soon face court appearances over their alleged misuse of parliamentary travel vouchers.

“If all of the ANC MPs reported to be involved in Travelgate, including those on the original list of more than 100 allegedly involved, were to form their own political party, they would be the official opposition in Parliament,” the DA said.

The DA also criticised other “problems with corruption” in the government, saying the auditor general and President Thabo Mbeki “apparently misled” the country by claiming there were no substantial changes to the draft report of the joint investigating team on the arms deal.

The party also questioned the conduct of Deputy Minister of Finance Jabu Moleketi in awarding a contract to a former Gauteng provincial government employee while Moleketi was still Gauteng’s provincial finance and economic affairs minister.

Because of such matters, the DA said, the opening of Parliament should be a “sombre and introspective event”.

“Many of our nation’s elected representatives have failed to honour the trust of the people. It is up to the DA to make the fight against corruption the focus of this parliamentary session.
And so we will,” the DA concluded.

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