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DA calls on Ramaphosa to testify in front of state capture inquiry

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to testify in front of the Zondo inquiry into state capture.

Maimane said in a statement that the DA have in their possession and email which suggests that when Ramaphosa served as Jacob Zuma’s deputy, his office “office assisted in the identity change of an individual with close ties to Gupta associate Ashu Chalwa”.

He also quoted the president saying “[F]or 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.”

The DA has also called on the president to answer the following questions before the Zondo commission:

  • At what stage he became aware of the capture of the ANC and the national government and its entities;

  • What steps he took subsequent to becoming aware of such;

  • As Chairperson of the Inter-ministerial Committee on State Owned Entities (SOEs) while Deputy President, what knowledge he had on the appointment of Gupta-friendly individuals to SOE boards;

  • Why he personally appointed several individuals with ties to the Guptas to his first Cabinet on 26 February 2018; and

  • Whether he was aware of any “special work” being performed for the Guptas and their associates by his office while he was Deputy President.

This comes after Ramaphosa replaced Nhlahla Nene with Tito Mboweni as finance minister.

My Take

If there is one thing to take out of the revelations around Nene and the Guptas, it is that the former president surrounded himself with people who he felt he could, at the very least, keep quiet.

Ramaphosa was Zuma’s deputy, if he didn’t know about at least some of the shady dealings going on in the former president’s cabinet, that in itself would give me serious doubts about his competence to be president.

Which means he is kind of stuck in a catch 22, either he was compliant and kept his mouth shut for years about less than ethical goings on, or he’s an oblivious idiot.

I don’t think either case is desirable.

  • Picture courtesy of GCIS via Flickr
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