President Cyril Ramaphosa must present himself before the commission probing “state capture” in which senior government officials and executives at state companies have been implicated, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Wednesday.
Maimane said recent developments in the Zondo Commission of Inquiry had shown that the capture of the ruling African National Congress and of national government and its entities for corrupt ends extended beyond former president Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family accused of trying to exert undue influence on the state.
His call came a day after Ramaphosa appointed former central bank governor Tito Mboweni as finance minister to replace Nhlanhla Nene who resigned over his meetings with the Guptas. In his own testimony before the Zondo commission, Nene denied helping to further the Guptas interests but conceded he should have been more upfront about his encounters with them.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa told the nation yesterday that for 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,” Maimane said on Wednesday, quoting the president.
Ramaphosa had also correctly stated that it was “incumbent upon any person who may have knowledge of any of the matters within the Commission’s mandate to provide that information to the Commission, to do so honestly and to do so fully”, Maimane added.
“It is therefore incumbent on President Ramaphosa to himself come clean and voluntarily request to appear before the Zondo Commission to fully account for his senior leadership tenure since 2012,” the DA leader said.
“Ramaphosa must show leadership and heed his own advice in this regard. The DA has already requested the Zondo Commission to call Ramaphosa and 11 other ANC officials, to give their own full accounts of the capture of the ANC and of government. While we await the Commission’s response, the President should request to appear.”
He said as deputy president of the ANC from 2012, and deputy president of South Africa from 2014, there was “no conceivable way” Ramaphosa had no knowledge of the wholescale state capture.