/ 10 October 2018

DA calls for President Ramaphosa to ‘come clean’

Our politics editor Matuma Letsoalo elaborates on a story he wrote about what could be holding SA back economically and what needs to be done
The Democratic Alliance said it has requested the commission to call on 11 ANC officials, including Ramaphosa. (Twitter/Presidency)

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to “come clean” and appear voluntarily before the commission of inquiry into state capture.

Maimane’s request follows the resignation of Nhlanhla Nene from his position as finance minister.

Nene resigned following public outcry over his failure to disclose meeting members of the politically connected Gupta family between 2010 and 2014 prior to his reappointment as finance minister. In a 2016 interview with eNCA, Nene falsely claimed he had never met members of the Gupta family.

In September, when he was answering a question posed by DA MP Cathy Labuschagne before the National Council of Provinces, Ramaphosa said he would willingly appear before the commission — chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo — if he was called.

“For the country to move forward, we need to establish the full extent of state capture, identify those responsible for facilitating it, and take decisive steps to prevent it happening again,” Ramaphosa said.

Maimane has challenged Ramaphosa to follow through on his statements.

“It is therefore incumbent on President Ramaphosa to himself come clean and voluntarily request to appear before the Zondo Commission to fully account for his senior leadership tenure since 2012,” Maimane said in a statement released on Wednesday.

According to Maimane, “there is no conceivable way Mr Ramaphosa had no knowledge of the wholesale corrupt capture of the ANC and of National Government and its entities”. Maimane was referring to Ramaphosa’s tenure as deputy president of the ANC from 2012 and deputy president of the country from 2014.

The DA has raised four questions that it wants Ramaphosa to answer. The questions pertain to his awareness of state capture and the capture of the ANC, the actions he took when he learnt what was happening, and his knowledge of Gupta-friendly appointments in state-owned entities. Ramaphosa has served as chairperson of the inter-ministerial committee on state own entities from 2014 to 2016.

Ramaphosa must also answer to why he appointed individuals with ties to the Gupta family in his first Cabinet in February 2018, and whether, when he was deputy president, he knew of “special work being performed for the Guptas and their associates by his office”.

The Democratic Alliance said it has requested the commission to call on 11 ANC officials, including Ramaphosa.

The Inkatha Freedom Party has also called on the president to appear before the commission to answer to his knowledge of and action against state capture while he was deputy president of the country.