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DEBATE ON THE GUPTAGATE

22 MAY 2013

SIPHO MFUNDISI

It is very strange that the National Key Point status can be trivialised and dismissed in a simple party committee meeting while the home of an individual is ascribed the status of National Key Point with a fortune in public funds being spent thereon. The day will come when these parliamentary precincts will be devoid of their National Key Point status.

The ANC government has consistently taken exception when opposition members of parliament point out their shortcomings in governance but have inadvertently ceded their political and executive responsibilities to government officials. If it were not so there is no way all political heads or ministers of state departments affected could be absolved from the Gupta plane debacle while officials are made to carry the can.  It is as good as saying those officials are in charge and there are no ministers.

In real democracies an event like this one would have had ministers whose departments are affected in the mess resign or being fired by the president simply for having lowered their guard where and when it mattered most. In a real democracy the president himself would have quit and not pleaded with the public not to conflate relations between this country and India because of the landing of the plane at what he calls a strategic airport. It is up to parliament to deal with him as they elected him.

When, in 2003 Bulelani Ngcuka, the then Director of Public Prosecutions said  Zuma was in trouble because he  has surrounded himself with Indians it sounded like a far-fetched and xenophobic statement, but we look at what is happening to the country because of that type of association. We note that three securocrats Njenje, Jeff  Maqetuka and Mo Shaik lost their jobs because they dared investigate the activities of the Guptas.

The buck stops with the president and his executive; there is no way they can pass the buck; besides no one in their wildest dreams would think Directors General would and could lay the fault at the doors of the President or ministers without risking being charged with misconduct in terms of the Public Service Act.  Only an independent institution can dig out the truth and make sense in this rigmarole.

Political accountability has been consigned to the dustbin of expediency and sacrificed on the altar of supposed friendship.

We in the UCDP maintain that because it was clear the guests would come by air, their plane should have been directed to the Pilanesberg International Airport but they were allowed to land at the Waterkloof Military Airbase just to show the extent to which the Guptas have the leaders of this country in their pockets. The Guptas did that in sheer impunity to illustrate to their compatriots the muscle they have over leaders of this country. After all there has been no rebutt to the assertion that some ministers learnt of their appointment to cabinet from them even before the presidency announced that!

While some one may believe that none of the members of cabinet knew about the plane landing at this particular airport, a thousand would not. The report so presented has to be rejected with the contempt it deserves.

In conclusion I plead with President Zuma and his government to heed these words:

“ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly

they are ravening wolves”. Matthew 7: 15 

I thank you




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