The African National Congress (ANC) has called for law enforcement agencies to probe the “cancer” of state capture by the politically connected Gupta family.
The party was concerned that if there was no visible action, the public may conclude that senior ANC leaders were implicated, spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told News24 on Wednesday.
The investigation was crucial to restoring the integrity and credibility of government, especially given the allegations about the theft of taxpayers’ money.
“They must act without fear or favour. We must deal with the tigers and flies equally. We must even deal with senior leaders, even those in the executive.
“The sooner law enforcement acts, and acts decisively, it will be better not only for ANC, but for the country, because this is a cancer.”
It would be good to see someone in a position of power, a minister, or premier, being jailed for corruption, he said.
Emails leaked from the Gupta family have exposed the extent of their influence on state-owned entities and President Jacob Zuma’s executive.
They have revealed that money was siphoned from government projects to pay for the multi-million rand Gupta family wedding, that multi-national firms paid kickbacks to the family to get government tenders, and that Cabinet members shared confidential government memos with the family.
‘Those implicated must explain themselves’
The family is in business with Zuma’s son Duduzane. Zuma has defended his friendship with the family.
Kodwa said the ANC was aware of the damage the allegations were doing to the party. It was distancing itself from the family and its members, including Zuma, who were implicated in wrongdoing.
“The shenanigans by the Guptas, they have nothing to do with the ANC. Those implicated, including a leader of the ANC, must explain themselves.”
The ANC has said that Parliament must have powers of subpoena for its probe into Eskom. Opposition MPs wanted Zuma, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, and the Gupta brothers to appear before the parliamentary committee probing Eskom.
Previously, Parliament had shielded Zuma from the probe into spending on his Nkandla homestead.
“Everyone that Parliament thinks is relevant to their probe must be called, regardless of their position and their surname,” Kodwa said.
This week, even Zuma’s staunchest supporters have taken a hard stance against the Gupta family. They include the ANC’s chairpersons in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, David Mabuza and Sihle Zikalala.
“Business people must not depend on influencing politicians and people who are in the administration. That is what we mean when we say we need space to run the government and the ANC,” Zikalala told News 24 earlier this week. – News24