South Africans have not given up the hope that the country’s constitution and democratic institutions will finally bring President Jacob Zuma and his allies to book for weakening the country’s democracy and economy.
While nothing serious is being said about the state capture report published by the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, opposition parties have demanded answers on why no action has been taken against the Gupta family for being implicated in the report.
The South African Communist Party (SACP), however, offered us a sneak peek on why the government has refused to take radical action against the wealthy family.
In an interview with Talk Radio 702’s Eusebius McKaiser, SACP secretary-general Blade Nzimande said why no action has been taken against the family is because the government lacks the political will, despite the convincing evidence against them.
He further explained that the government lacks the will because those who are meant to take action against the culprits are also involved in their crimes.
The Alliance party reiterated calls for the government to launch a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture against the Guptas.
“Why are we not taking radical action about the Guptas when there is so much evidence. We, for instance, as the SACP, we’re calling for a judicial commission of inquiry and to all state capture, but in relation to the Gupta family, we’ve got information that we would have actually brought before the judicial commission,” Nzimande said.
In addition, he made reference to the shady R4-billion coal supply deal between Eskom and Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration and Resources, saying the deal alone speaks volume about the unhealthy relationship between the president and the South African-Indian family.
SACP’s call for a judicial inquiry follows that of deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, who said on Sunday that the issue of state capture can only be resolved by an inquiry commission.
Ramaphosa told the audience on Sunday at the Chris Hani memorial lecture in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, that an inquiry commission is “possibly the only process that will be able to get to bottom of these allegations and determine the truthfulness or lack thereof.”
In November 2016, Thuli Madonsela released her 355 pages State of Capture report, recommending that President Jacob Zuma appoints a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate. But Zuma, since, took the report on review, waving off attention from it for some time now.
State Capture report – the report that confirms South Africa’s worst fears about corruption – provided proofs that Zuma sanctioned the use of state companies for personal enrichment.
It also contained a detailed interview with deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, who was offered a ministerial job by Ajay Gupta.
Ajay reportedly told Jonas that they’d already made 6 billion rands ($443 million) from dealings with the government, and wanted to make at least 2 billion rands more (about $147 million).
Evidence gathered from cellphones also showed that Nene’s successor Des Van Rooyen spent the night before Nene’s removal at the Guptas’ mansion in Johannesburg.
Another implicated minister Mosebenzi Zwane also tried to have the report delayed, saying it was hastily prepared.
Zwane reportedly traveled for a meeting to Switzerland on behalf of the Gupta family over the acquisition of a troubled coal mine from multinational commodity trader Glencore. The outcome of the meeting saw the Guptas becoming one of the main coal suppliers for state utility Eskom.
President Jacob Zuma was elected into power when immigration, joblessness, and unhappiness with the political establishment had the better part of South Africans.
However, with time, it became increasingly apparent that Zuma only used his position of power to enrich himself and the controversial family, who allegedly wielded influence over the president and some key appointments in the government.
The Gupta family is said to have also made Zuma’s son – Duduzane a billionaire overnight and helped one of his wives buy a multimillion-rand house in an affluent Pretoria suburb, among other corrupt deeds.