By Daniel Friedman |The Citizen|
DA leader Mmusi Maimane has released a statement accusing President Cyril Ramaphosa of having assisted in the identity change of close Gupta ally Ashu Chawla while deputy president.
According to Maimane, the party is “in possession of email communication which appears to suggest while deputy president, Ramaphosa’s office assisted in the identity change of an individual with close ties to Gupta associate Ashu Chalwa. I will be submitting this to the president’s office requesting a full explanation.”
Maimane also wrote that, considering his prominent role as then deputy president of both the ANC and the country during Jacob Zuma’s presidency, “there is no conceivable way Mr Ramaphosa had no knowledge of the whole-scale corrupt capture of the ANC and of National Government and its entities”.
The leader of the opposition wants Ramaphosa to face the commission of inquiry into state capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
According to Maimane, Ramaphosa should answer the following questions:
“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.”
Maimane’s statement ends by quoting former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza who said: “If we were to prosecute all known corrupt cases‚ including those implicated in the Gupta e-mails‚ almost 80-90% of the ANC leadership at all levels of government would have to replace their shiny tailored suit and pretty dresses with orange overalls.”
Some took to Twitter to brand Maimane a “mini Malema” for his statement. The EFF leader has also repeatedly said he believed Ramaphosa’s hands were not entirely clean.
While Ramaphosa’s alleged involvement in state capture is thus far unproven, the president has expressed a willingness to testify at the Zondo inquiry several times.
At a parliamentary question and answer session on September 11, he expressed his openness to testifying at the commission if called on to do so.
“As president of the ANC I can never dissociate myself and run away from a commission that we said should be set up,” he said.
“The issue of state capture is one that has affected all in the country. Details have come as a shock and things that were not apparent are now being put forward.”
Then, replying to a question in parliament on Wednesday last week, Ramaphosa repeated his declaration that he would willingly testify.
The question was posed by Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota.