The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it has laid criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma after former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report implied that he may have allowed members of the controversial Gupta family to influence Cabinet appointments and the awarding of state contracts.
The DA also asked the police to investigate the Guptas and Zuma’s son, Duduzane, who is their business partner, as well as two Cabinet ministers and several other people who were also implicated in the public protector’s report, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.
“President Zuma, the Guptas and their compromised buddies have run amok over the last few years, abusing their power to make themselves rich, while the majority of South Africans still live in poverty and without the hope of finding a job,” Maimane said.
“From creating ‘conditional’ Cabinet appointments, to influencing and fixing government contracts for personal financial benefit, we have seen it all. Jacob Zuma and his co-conspirators must now face the legal consequences.”
Calls to the police station in Rosebank, where the DA said it was laying the charges, went unanswered.
In her report released November 2, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela suggested Zuma and some of his ministers may have breached the government’s code of ethics in their dealings with the three Gupta brothers and may have given special treatment to a coal business owned by the family. Madonsela ordered the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate whether there had been any wrongdoing.
Zuma and the Guptas deny ever having intentionally broken the law and are considering challenging Madonsela’s report in court.
The report provided extensive prima facie evidence of corruption, undue influence and interference by Zuma, the Guptas and others, and the DA would ensure they were investigated and prosecuted, Maimane said. The party has tried unsuccessfully to force Zuma from office several times, most recently with a motion of no-confidence which ANC MPs quashed last week.
The DA has also been waging a court battle to force prosecutors to reinstate 783 graft charges against Zuma that were dropped just weeks before he became president in May 2009.
Zuma appealed against an April 29 High Court finding that the decision to drop the charges was wrong and the Supreme Court of Appeal is deciding whether to consider the case. – Bloomberg