Today President Jacob Zuma once again treated Parliament as his very own lapdog, by avoiding accountability on the question of whether the Gupta family and others played a role, directly or indirectly, in the decision to fire former Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, which sent the country’s economy into a tailspin.
My specific question to the President was whether he consulted any person before the appointment of Mr David van Rooyen as Minister of Finance on 9 December 2015, and removal of Mr van Rooyen as Minister of Finance three days later.
The President completely avoided answering the question of whether he in fact did consult anyone, and instead quoted sections of the Constitution which empower the head of executive to appoint and dismiss cabinet ministers.
In addition to this, the President then astonishingly implied that his decision to fire former Minister Nene had a negligible impact on our economy and the tanking of our currency, as the rand was “already in decline”.
This blatant untruth is a slap in the face of the 8.2 million jobless South Africans whose hope of finding a job is continuously undermined by decisions such as this one made President Zuma and his government.
When I pressed the President on this point, I was asked by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to leave the House. This is yet another chapter in the story of the how the ANC in Parliament protects Jacob Zuma at any cost.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will not relent in seeking answers to this ever-mounting Gupta saga.
I have already moved a substantive motion in the National Assembly (NA) requesting that the House establish an Ad Hoc Committee to investigate the close ties between the Gupta family and President Zuma, including their alleged involvement in the capture of State resources and their undue influence over the Executive.
Parliament must play its rightful role in holding executive power to account.
The Motion that Mmusi Maimane put forward yesterday:
A clip from the Assembly or Parliament today: