The Democratic Alliance (DA) has demanded a progress report from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on her investigation into the allegations of state capture by the Gupta family, party leader Mmusi Maimane said on Monday.
“I have today written to the public protector, Thuli Madonsela, requesting a progress report on her ongoing investigation into state capture in South Africa,” Maimane said.
The call comes after the announcement by the family on Sunday that they would sell all their shareholdings in South Africa by year end.
Madonsela launched an investigation at the DA’s behest some months ago after Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said that the Gupta brothers tried to peddle him the position of finance minister shortly before President Jacob Zuma removed Nhlanhla Nene from the post.
“It is now absolutely essential that we obtain an update from the public protector as to what progress has been made in this investigation, and an estimation as to when a preliminary report will be completed,” Maimane said.
The Gupta family on Sunday said they would divest from South Africa for the sake of their business, the country and their “colleagues”.
In response, the DA and SA Communist Party general secretary and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said the truth was more likely that the family was feeling the heat from several investigations into their dealings.
It emerged this month that Tegeta, a Gupta-owned exploration company, has threatened to go to court to block the release by National Treasury of a report into Eskom’s coal contracts. Sunday press reports added that the Treasury had also threatened to go to court to undo Denel’s partnership with another Gupta-linked company, VR Laser Asia.
Maimane said the Guptas could not escape sanction by leaving South Africa.
“It must be made clear that the Guptas’ absence from business activity in South Africa does not absolve them from this pending investigation. Moreover, their proxies, which include Jacob Zuma and several Cabinet ministers and board members of state-owned enterprises still remain in government. Thus, the Guptas selling their business interests and fleeing the country still does not rid South Africa of their destructive influence.”
– African News Agency (ANA)