The African National Congress’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has simply swapped the Gupta corrupt influence over government under the carpet. The decision to investigate the Guptas’ allegedly corrupt behaviour by the office of ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, following a meeting that would be held between the Gupta family and ANC top brass led by the Guptas’ friend, President Jacob Zuma, is undermining the intelligence of the South African people.
It is like inviting the sheep to a meeting with the jackals to discuss the slaughtering of the sheep.
The ANC through its government and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) is feeding this family with huge tenders and business and in turn they benefit from the same family. The ANC is therefore conflicted and cannot be trusted with investigating this matter.
Until the recent past, when for the first time the Minister of Finance pulled the plug on the Guptas’ breakfast cash cow, all ANC ministers were frogmarched to these shows, manipulating SABC airtime to promote ANC propaganda. State-Owned Enterprises such as Transnet, Denel, Telkom, Eskom and others have been funding these shows while the SABC’s revenue has been on the losing end. It will be interesting also to investigate how these decisions are taken to fund the Gupta-owned New Age newspaper’s breakfast shows.
Interestingly, this family was once branded as investors into our country, yet little is known of their investment and business success back in their country of origin, India. Instead we are told that they owe some of our development institutions such as the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
I hope they have not joined or are not driving the apparent looting spree of the workers’ pensions in the Public Investment Corporation, helped by the same ANC which seeks to investigate its shenanigans.
As the United Democratic Movement (UDM), we suggested to the Speaker of the National Assembly that this matter be placed before the Joint Portfolio Committee on Intelligence for thorough investigation.
At best, and if the leadership of the ANC was serious about fighting corruption, they should have considered this suggestion and even asked the office of the public protector to conduct an investigation.
Their failure to provide leadership to society threatens sustainable economic development, ethical values, justice and the rule of law. Corruption has been damaging to the country’s reputation and is creating obstacles to local and foreign direct investment.
Clearly, the ANC has forgotten about key principles of good governance which include honesty, transparency, responsiveness and accountability.
For this reason, the electorate should punish them heavily come election day. DM
Bantu Holomisa is President of the United Democratic Movement.