DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to “come clean” and “turn himself in” to the state capture inquiry.
In a statement on Wednesday, Maimane said he agreed with Ramaphosa’s comments on Tuesday when the president said: “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.”
Ramaphosa said 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”.
This followed the resignation of Nhlanhla Nene as minister of finance following revelations that he had met with the Gupta family at least six times at their Saxonwold home during his tenure as deputy finance minister as well as during the early stages of his first stint as head of Treasury. Nene was replaced by former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni.
Maimane said: “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.
“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,” Maimane said.
Maimane said he wanted Ramaphosa to reveal to the commission at what stage he became aware of the capture of the ANC and the national government and its entities and what steps he took subsequent to becoming aware.
“As deputy president of the ANC from 2012, and deputy president of South Africa from 2014, 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.”
Ramaphosa should also disclose what knowledge he had about the appointment of Gupta-friendly individuals to state-owned entity (SOE) boards as chairperson of the inter-ministerial committee on SOEs while deputy president.
Maimane also took issue with Ramaphosa appointing “several individuals with ties to the Guptas” to his first Cabinet on February 26.
“South Africans deserve a president who is willing to lead and take bold action when it comes to corruption,” Maimane said.