The following remarks were delivered by the DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, during a debate on “Allegations of state capture by certain individuals and their alleged undue influence over the government.”
Today we are debating the phenomenon of ‘state capture’ in our country.
State capture is defined as “a form of systemic corruption in which private interests influence government decision-making to their own advantage”.
Now, I think it is important to acknowledge that President Zuma did not invent state capture.
He just perfected it.
Since Jacob Zuma assumed office in 2009, he has deployed loyalists to every lever of power and patronage.
He has captured the parastatals to be looted through tenders and contracts.
That’s why we have Dudu Myeni at SAA and Brian Molefe at Eskom.
And he has captured the institutions that keep him and his cronies out of jail.
This explains why Shaun Abrahams was deployed to the NPA, why Berning Ntlemeza is the head of the Hawks and why Tom Moyane was parachuted in at SARS.
That was phase one, in which Jacob Zuma captured the state. We have now moved on to phase two, in which the Guptas captured Jacob Zuma.
When he got desperate on the campaign trail this year, Jacob Zuma went around telling people that members on this side of the House are puppets.
Now, that’s rich coming from him.
Because we no longer have a President, we have a puppet. Jacob Zuma is a puppet of the Guptas.
When the Guptas say “jump”, Zuma says: “How high”?
When the Guptas say “we want to land at Waterkloof”, Zuma says: “I’ll notify air traffic control.”
When the Guptas say “fire Nene”, Zuma says: “He’ll be gone by the end of the week.”
When the Guptas say “get Gordhan”, Zuma says: “I’ll get the Hawks on it right away.”
When the Guptas say “we want a coal mine”, Zuma says: “I’ll go one better. I’ll give you your own Minister of Mineral Resources.”
Being a Gupta puppet is good business for Jacob Zuma and his family.
Jacob Zuma is so deep in the Guptas’ pockets I’m surprised those pockets haven’t been declared a National Key Point.
And we mustn’t be fooled by the Guptas’ move to Dubai or their promise to sell off their South African business interests. These are just smoke screens.
Because, as long as the Guptas have No.1’s cell number on speed dial, our country is governed by remote control from 11,000km away.
Every time the Guptas pull Jacob Zuma’s strings, the markets react and our currency plunges.
We saw it when Minister Nene was fired, and we saw it when the Hawks began circling around Minister Gordhan.
Billions of Rands left our shores, billions more were wiped from our markets and thousands of jobs were lost.
Yesterday, Minister Pravin Gordhan stood here and said that we should be talking about how to create jobs, not about state capture.
I wish we didn’t need to debate state capture, and I wish this debate was all about jobs.
But the truth is, we cannot create jobs when our state is captured. Indeed, it is state capture that is pushing us towards a ratings downgrade.
And, make no mistake, if we are downgraded to ‘junk status’, hundreds and thousands more jobs will be lost.
Now, we know that many members of the majority party in this House agree with us on the Guptas’ capture of their President.
We saw it yesterday when Minister Gordhan said:
“The facts are fairly clear about where the influences lie and what the purpose of these influences is.”
We saw it when Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas told us he had turned down a Cabinet post offered by the Guptas, saying:
“Their offer makes a mockery of our hard-earned democracy and the trust of our people.”
We know many of you are worried about state capture. So why don’t you stop it?
I’ll tell you why – it’s because you can’t.
Because your party has been captured by the Guptas through Zuma, his proxy.
They control the National Executive Committee, and they manage the so-called “Premier league”.
The people in the ANC who benefit from this web of patronage and corruption outnumber those who don’t.
This is why – under Jacob Zuma – the ANC can lose three major cities in an election and nobody in the ANC can act against him.
Many of you on the ANC benches will lose your seats at the next election but, like turkeys voting for Christmas, you will go on supporting Zuma.
The truth is that the ANC is beyond redemption. The ANC cannot save itself, and it cannot save our country.
And so our salvation lies in building a new alternative. It depends on patriotic South Africans from all political traditions joining hands to stop the plunder.
We are building this alternative where we now govern in Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane.
In these places, we are stopping corruption, we are starting service delivery and putting the people first.
We are shining a light on dodgy tenders, we are stopping the fancy cars, and we are putting an end to the blue light brigades and the lavish parties.
We won’t stop the rot overnight. But in five years, each of these cities will look very different.
Honourable Speaker, there is hope for South Africa. We will turn our economy around.
It is our duty today, in this House, to start the process of freeing our country from the grip of the Guptas.
And so I call on those from the ANC who agree that state capture is unacceptable, to do their jobs, and support this motion today for a full parliamentary inquiry.