The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) believes it might be able to do what the ANC and the National Assembly failed to – remove President Jacob Zuma from power, based on his conduct and the state capture in which he is implicated.
The civil society organisation said it had built a case against Zuma to enable members of parliament – particularly those in the ANC – to vote according to their consciences in the upcoming motion of no confidence.
The body presented the dossier to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete yesterday and intend giving all MPs a copy of the dossier through formal engagement with parliament.
It will also present the document to relevant institutions, including the ANC national executive committee, the Hawks, the minister of police, the National Prosecuting Authority and the public protector.
“Removing President Zuma from power is the primary step that needs to be taken before South Africa can start the journey of redressing the devastating effect that his conduct and the situation of state capture has had in our country,” said Outa COO Ben Theron.
“We believe others implicated in the report should also be removed from office and prosecuted; we are handing this document to law enforcement for this purpose.”
Theron, who managed the entire project, said Outa’s dossier showed that Zuma had allowed himself to be influenced in his Cabinet appointments, appointed poorly qualified and incompetent individuals in decision-making positions and allowed corrupt individuals to benefit from state coffers or failed to institute action when he became aware of such conduct.
It said Zuma had also mismanaged his Cabinet in a manner that had a detrimental effect on the country and the economy, used or manipulated state resources to avoid prosecution for at least 783 charges, willfully and maliciously lied or misled parliament and the nation and abused his position to enrich himself, his family, his friends and his cronies.
Among the reports that Outa used to build its case were the South African Council of Churches’ “Unburdening Panel” and one produced by a team of academics known as “Betrayal of the Promise – How South Africa is being Captured”.
The process was also assisted by the Gutpa e-mail leaks that came to light at the end of May.
“The documents from the Gupta leaks have no doubt provided significant support and strength to the claims presented in our case document,” Theron said.
He said the building of the case document had taken several months, with a team of experienced investigators, researchers and legal counsel.
According to Theron, the case document was prepared and compiled in a manner that makes it suitable for presentation in a court of law.
The aim was to ensure that Outa was able to take the matter to the Constitutional Court when it was convinced that it would be meaningful to do so.
He said the envisaged commission of inquiry into state capture to which Zuma agreed should not preclude all other attempts to remove the president from power.
“While we welcome the undertaking from the president to signal the formation of a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, we trust this decision will not be used as a reason to stave off decisions or actions available in the quest to remove him.
Commissions of inquiry can take years to unfold, but South Africa is burning and we do not have the luxury of wasting more time,” said Theron. – email@example.com