DA lashes out at Zuma for setting an Inter-Ministerial Committee to probe Melefe’s return

DA lashes out at Zuma for setting an Inter-Ministerial Committee to probe Melefe’s return

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has lashed out at President Jacob Zuma for setting up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to “gather facts” about the return of Brian Molefe to Eskom.

DA’s Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone said Zuma has proven that he undermines the Parliament by setting up a Ministerial Task Team that consists of “all Ministers firmly behind Zuma, and many with their own reputations of being captured”.

“Zuma’s announcement that an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) will be established to investigate the very serious problems at Eskom, rather than Parliament, as the body mandated to oversee and ensure the smooth running of the entity, has flatly undermined Parliament,” said Mazzone.

“The President is clearly deathly scared of the evidence which will emerge from a full-scale and transparent Parliamentary Inquiry,” added Mazzone.

Zuma on Thursday decided to set up an inter-ministerial committee to “gather facts” about Brian Molefe’s return to Eskom.

Zuma on Thursday announced that he will set up an IMC to assist in gathering facts about the return of Molefe to the parastatal.

In a statement released by the presidency, Zuma said the presidency together with his cabinet is concerned by what is happening at Eskom.

“Cabinet is concerned about the recent developments at Eskom. Cabinet appreciates that the matter regarding the re-employment of Mr Brian Molefe as the Chief Executive Officer of Eskom is before courts and in Parliament, and shall therefore respect these processes,” said the Presidency.

The IMC set by the president is made up of: Ministers of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, Energy, Mmamoloko Kubayi, Finance, Malusi Gigaba, and Justice and Correctional services, Michael Masutha.

Two weeks ago, Molefe resigned as an ANC MP and returned to the power utility as CEO. He had resigned in November 2016 after he was named in the public protector’s State of Capture report.

Earlier on Thursday, Brown announced an inquiry into alleged corruption at Eskom. It would likely be conducted the Special Investigating Unit and overseen by a judge.

Briefing reporters before her budget debate, Brown said since South Africa first experienced rolling blackouts in 2007, there had been at least seven investigations into alleged maladministration and corruption at the utility. Several of these were commissioned by Eskom’s board and they culminated in the State of Capture report, which was released in November last year.

By Senzile Kubheka

Molefe’s swearing in is bad for SA- DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has expressed its disapproval of former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s swearing-in as an African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP).

DA’s Shadow Minister of Finance David Maynier, said Molefe’s swearing-in was a disgrace and is a major escalation in the civil war within the ANC and the battle for control of National Treasury, being driven by President Jacob Zuma

“We cannot be sure but it will presumably not be long before Brain Molefe is appointed to the finance committee to serve time before being appointed as the deputy-minister of finance with a view to controlling the R1.8 trillion managed by the Public Investment Corporation,” said Maynier.

Maynier also said they fear the predicament which will follow in South Africa if Molefe gets a position in the finance family.

This follows after speculations that ANC MP Makhosi Khoza was redeployed from the Finance Committee to make way for Molefe.

“The fact is that appointing Brian Molefe to any position in the ‘finance family’ presents a clear-and-present danger to the institutional independence of National Treasury and will be bad for South Africa,” he said.

“The Guptas will be delighted because, if the State of Capture report is anything to go by, and Brian Molefe is eventually appointed to a position in the ‘finance family’, they will finally have National Treasury, the Public Investment Corporation and South African Airways on ‘speed dial’,” Maynier added.

Molefe was on Thursday morning in the Speakers office, sworn in as an ANC Member of Parliament

Molefe was said to be nominated by the ANC in North West, however it has been controversial as branch leaders in Hartbeespoort have questioned whether he is a member or not.

The official announcement is expected to be made when the National Assembly sits on Thursday afternoon.

“We were the first victims of the ‘war room’”-Cope

The Congress of the People says it was the first opposition party to fall victim of the African National Congress (ANC)’s alleged smear campaign.

Cope Spokesperson Dennis Bloem said they were not surprised when Public Relations Consultant Sihle Bolani, revealed that the ANC hired her to be part of a so-called secret smear campaign against the opposition parties.

“COPE is not at all shocked or surprised by the scandalous dealings that were exposed by the PR practitioner Sihle Bolani. COPE believes every word of Bolani,” said Bloem.

He went to say the ANC began their smear campaign during the 2009 national elections, in a bid to discredit the party from acquiring votes.

“The unethical and immoral ANC started its war room immediately after the formation of COPE. It was in full operation during the 2009 National Elections; COPE was the first victim of the war room and the ANC spent millions of rands in dirty tricks against COPE,” said Bloem.

On Tuesday Bolani said she is suing the ANC for R2.2 Million, as she spent three months as project manager for the ANC’s so-called “War Room”.

Bonani also revealed that she worked with ANC Stalwart and icon Walter Sisulu’s grandson Shaka Sisulu, who was the individual that the ANC paid.

Sisulu admitted to briefly working with Bolani but denied he was paid by the ANC nor took part in the covert operation

Bloem slammed both the ANC and Sisulu for denying being part of the covert operation to discredit opposition parties.

“No amount of denials can convince the public that Shaka Sisulu and his other comrades were not involved in these immoral and unethical dirty tricks. Bolani has exposed all of them. It’s a screaming shame that the ANC used R50 million of tax-payers to fight its opponents,” said Bloem.

On the other hand, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are set to report the ANC to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and consider other legal options.

 

DA,EFF to fight ANC over ‘smear campaign’

Opposition Parties, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are planning to take a battle with the African National Congress (ANC) for allegedly planning a smear campaign against them.

This follows after a Public Relations Consultant Sihle Bolani revealed that the ANC hired her to be part of a so-called secret smear campaign against the opposition parties.

Bolani also said she is suing the ANC for R2.2 Million, as she spent three months as project manager for the ANC’s so-called “War Room”.

However ANC Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa rubbished the claims saying the ANC does not need nor has engaged in any clandestine “black ops” to woo voters.

“The African National Congress (ANC) has noted and rejects, with the contempt they deserve, reports in the media that the organisation conducted or sought to conduct a “R50m..covert campaign targeting opposition parties” during the 2016 Local Government Election,” said Kodwa.

“We further reject any allegation that the organisation owes any monies to any companies purporting to run such clandestine campaign,” added Kodwa.

DA’s Federal Executive Chairperson James Selfe, said they have referred the matter to their legal counsel, he added they have requested them to consider the case towards both civil and criminal action.

“If true, these allegations show that the ANC is willing to manipulate and undermine ethical democratic conduct and action in order to ensure continued government rule. Such allegations can only be treated in the most serious light,” said Selfe.

EFF’s Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said they are also considering legal actions against the ANC, as they had during the elections removed a poster with their Leader Julius Malema, from one of the streets in Sandton.

“We never did anything about it in terms of IEC rules or lodging any complaints because we didn’t know who’d put it up and who was behind it … until this story emerged,” said Ndlozi

 DA is the only hope for a better South Africa- Maimane

The Democratic Alliance (DA) criticised President Jacob Zuma’s speech during the African National Congress (ANC)’s 105th birthday celebration.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the speech was the “the tell-tale last gasp of a dying organisation”, he then said it was also proof that the ANC is beyond the point of no return.

“It is an out-of-touch and divided party that is unable to self-correct, and is passed the point of no return,” said Maimane.

Maimane in a statement also slammed the party for celebrating their birthday in a “lavish” manner, saying the ANC prioritises lavish celebrations rather than creating employment.

“While the ANC celebrates in lavish style today, we live in a country where 9 million of our people are without work, and have given up any hope of finding a job,” the Leader said.

“We live in a deeply unfair and unequal society, where the colour of your skin still determines your chances of succeeding in life. And this is only worsened by the ANC who run a dishonest government, putting their friends first and the people of South Africa last,” he added.

Maimane also touched on ANC’s succession debate, saying while the organisation focuses on electing a new president, the ANC is exposing that no reform in the party is possible.

Recently the ANC, its Leagues and Alliances have been at loggerheads as the groups have nominated different candidates to succeed Zuma.

The Congress of the South African Trade Unions (COSATU) together with other alliances which do not have the rights to vote for a successor, have nominated ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

While the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) and ANC Youth League (ANCYL) have lobbied behind Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Maimane said no change of leadership will repair the ANC from what it has become. He then said the DA is the only hope for a better South Africa.

“Whatever happens in December 2017, the ANC will remain committed to corruption, insider trading and unemployment. The DA is the only hope for a better South Africa,” said Maimane.

EFF slams ANC for celebrating the Constitution

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has lashed out at the African National Congress (ANC) for celebrating the Constitution saying they have done everything to “undermine and undo it”.

EFF Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the ANC no longer has the moral authority and legitimacy to celebrate the constitution, he added they no longer have the ethical standing to lead society in terms of principles, values and objectives of the constitution.

“Therefore, in marking the twenty years of our Democratic Constitution, we call on the people of South Africa to embrace the true gain of the constitution which is the right to vote and unshackle the destiny of the country from the degenerate and corrupt ANC,” said Ndlozi.

On Saturday a group of EFF members disrupted President Jacob Zuma during a celebration which was held in Sharpeville to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the signing the Constitution.

Ndlozi said they disrupted the occasion because the ANC and Zuma have failed to respect and uphold the Constitution.

“It is a fact, however, that in the past five years of the ANC Zuma rule, the democratic ideal of the rule of law has been eroded. On two occasions, the ANC government violated the rule of law by ignoring rulings of the Constitutional court,” said Ndlozi.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader Mmusi Maimane said it is a shame that Zuma and the ANC only work in “antithesis” to the Constitution.

“It is therefore a shame that President Jacob Zuma, who derives his authority from the Constitution, has been found to have undermined and violated that which he swore, before the people of South Africa, to protect, uphold and defend,” said Maimane.

“The drafters of the highest law in the land never foresaw that such a compromised and corrupt individual would be entrusted with bringing the Constitution to life,” he added.

MPs lash out at Mkhwebane for refusing to participate in the SABC inquiry

The Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee has slammed Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane for refusing to appear in front of the committee members to defend the report on Ethics and Governance.

The ad hoc committee which is set to resume its inquiry on the fitness of the SABC board to hold office requested a number of individuals including Mkhwebane to participate in the inquiry.

However committee members lamented of the manner in which Mkhwebane responded to the parliament’s invite to have her to participate in the inquiry.

Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Phumzile van Damme said she is worried about Mkhwebane’s response to the committee.

“Reading through the correspondence I am very, very worried about the manner in which she has responded to the committee,” said van Damme.

“At first she said she doesn’t understand why this ad hoc committee is continuing with its work when there is only one board member left and then she said it is really her prerogative to decide whether  or not she must come to parliament, and now  she suggest that her staff member mustn’t  appear in front of camera’s,”she added.

Van Damme said lashed out at Mkhwebane and said the committee should not agree with her correspondence and added the Public Protector’s report is in the public domain and Mkhwebane’s office should be able to defend and speak about the report.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said Mkhwebane has addressed them in a disrespectful manner

“The new Public protector must be told in no equivocal terms that this is the institution that constitutionally she reports to, if this institution wants her t come and speak on certain matter, unfortunately it part of her job description to appear,” said Ndlozi.

He then firmly said “the Parliament is her boss, Finish and Klaar!”.

The Ad hoc committee earlier on Tuesday held a preparatory meeting for the SABC meeting and there, they resolved that they are now going to summon individuals and public institutions that are refusing to participate in the inquiry.

The SABC inquiry is set to begin on Tuesday at 2pm.

By Senzile Kubheka

ANC veterans urge ANC MPs to support DA’s Motion against Zuma

African National Congress (ANC) veterans have urged ANC Members of Parliament to vote with the Democratic Alliance on their Motion of No Confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

ANC stalwart and member of the uMkhonto weSizwe high command, Mavuso Msimang said the motion is an opportunity for the ANC mps who want to run the organisation accordingly.

“When our President gets so errant you would expect that a living organisation would find a way of gracefully removing him,” said Msimanga

“On the NEC there are people who want the ANC to run according to its traditional values, they’re drowned by a cacophony of noise that’s coming from people who have everything to lose if Zuma went. So will find ourselves having to oppose the DA because it’s the DA, yes I would say we should vote for the removal of this person,” he added.

DA’s Motion of No Confidence against Zuma confirmed

The DA is set to continue with their Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma debate.

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen confirmed that National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete had decided to schedule the debate, he said he received a written confirmation from Parliament.

This follows after the Party said it would resort to legal actions since the Parliament had failed to schedule their debate.

The DA’s no confidence debate was ignited by the release of the State Capture report which has implicated that the President has some shady dealings with the controversial Gupta family.

Following the release of the report and its revelations, African National Congress members, Opposition parties and civil society groups have been calling on Zuma to resign.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said: “This is not a DA motion. This is not an ANC motion. This is a non-partisan motion that affords all 400 members of Parliament the opportunity to either speak for the people, or to protect Jacob Zuma and his corruption. The President was elected by Parliament, and thus must be removed by Parliament”.

The motion of no confidence debate is scheduled to take place on Thursday.

DA to approach Constitutional Court over ICC withdrawal

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is set to take the Governments’ decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court to the Constitutional Court.

DA Leader Mmusi Maimane said they will be filling for an urgent application for direct access to the Constitutional Court in order to challenge the decision taken by the cabinet.

“The decision taken by the South African Government is at odds with the county’s commitment to international justice and human rights, it marks  a dramatic decline in South Africa’s standing in the international community,” said Maimane.

On Wednesday, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane begun the process of withdrawing from the ICC and notified the United Nations (UN) about the move on Thursday, citing the court’s perceived biases against African states as a reason for the exit.

The document also highlights the dilemma the country faced last year when Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visited Johannesburg for an African Union summit.

Last week Maimane said the country’s withdrawal from the ICC cannot be cleared without approval from the National Legislature.

And later said they will be approaching the court to have Nkoana-Mashabane’s decision to withdraw from the ICC rendered “unconstitutional, irrational and procedurally flawed”.

However during a media briefing Justice Minister Michael Masutha said the approval of the National Legislature is not required before the executive enters or exits from international agreements.

Maimane said to withdraw from the ICC entirely undermines the efforts to safeguard the right of citizens both here in South Africa and internationally.

“South Africa’s withdrawal from the ICC sends the message that as a country, with global standing, we do not believe in holding those who commit the most horrendous of acts, such as genocide and war crimes, to account. We are now siding with murderers and dictators from across the globe,” said Maimane.

He added they want the constitutional to render the decision as “irrational” and that the Minister was supposed to communicate with the Parliament before taking the decision.

The United Nations has since confirmed receipt of South Africa’s notice. The process is expected to take up to a year before a total withdrawal is completed.

Opposition parties sceptical of ANC’s SABC Parliamentary inquiry

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have expressed their scepticism on the African National Congress (ANC)’s decision to launch a Parliamentary inquiry on the SABC.

This follows after the ANC on Wednesday announced that it has decided to let the Portfolio Committee on Communications launch a parliamentary inquiry into the fitness of the SABC Board to hold office.

DA’s Shadow Minister of Communications Phumzile van Damme said they welcome the ANC’s decision.

She then said the announcement made by ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu, must be put into action. She then warned that the decision should not be a public relations stunt by the ruling party to save the ANC.

“The board has overseen and allowed for institutional rot to set in at the SABC and should be held accountable for its failures. It is a pity that the ANC allowed the crisis at the SABC to continue to escalate over the last couple of months,” said van Damme.

“The crisis could have been avoided much sooner, nevertheless, we are pleased that they have woken up and smelled the coffee,” she added.

Deputy President of the EFF Floyd Shivambu also said they note and welcome the decision by the ruling party.

However he questioned whether the ANC will keep its word and stick by its decision to save the public broadcaster.

“The ANC Chief Whip made same threats about the SABC board before. Let’s hope this time there will be action. Bring them to Parliament ASAP!,” said Shivambu.

By Senzile Kubheka