The African Christian Democratic Party on Saturday added its voice to those criticising the debacle around Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s statement recommending that the president establish a judicial commission of inquiry into the decisions taken by various banks to cut business ties with the politically-connected Gupta family-owned Oakbay Investments.
In a statement issued after its national federal council meeting this weekend, the ACDP said the African National Congress was in turmoil.
“It has no leadership and no direction. The statements by minister Zwane announcing a judicial commission of inquiry into the banking licencing system was totally destructive to our economy. The fact that the presidency later corrected this statement shows the fractures in the ANC. How is it possible that a national minister can make such a damaging statement?”
South Africa was at a crossroads and needed clear leadership. The ACDP demanded that “the presidency stops its war with the Treasury” and take steps to follow the National Development Plan which was widely accepted as a sound economic programme, it said.
Earlier on Saturday, the Democratic Alliance urged President Jacob Zuma to shut down the task team looking into the termination of banking relationships with Oakbay Investments and fire Zwane.
The DA welcomed the news that Zuma had distanced himself from Zwane’s statement recommending a judicial commission of inquiry into the termination of banking relationships with Oakbay, DA spokesman David Maynier said.
“However, the statement does not go far enough – it leaves the political door open for some of the bizarre recommendations, supposedly made by the minister in his personal capacity, to be considered in the future,” he said.
Zuma needed to step up and act decisively by immediately shutting down the task team and firing Zwane from Cabinet.
“The minister’s head should be on the ‘chopping block’ and the axe should be allowed to fall without delay,” Maynier said.
The South African Communist Party said Zuma needed to consider further action following Zwane’s statements and the presidency’s subsequent “distancing the Cabinet from those utterances”.
The SACP noted the statement by the presidency on Friday clarifying that the utterances made by Zwane on Thursday represented his personal views and not those of the Cabinet, the SACP said in a statement.
“The minister said a Cabinet inter-ministerial committee in which he is involved recommended to the president to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into the decisions taken by various financial institutions to cut business ties with the Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments.
“This directly contradicted a public outcry and call to the president, including by the SACP, to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into corporate state capture not limited to but including allegations levelled against the Guptas.
“Minister Zwane’s utterances effectively fed into the use of our Cabinet to advance the private business interests of the Guptas while ignoring public outcry and call for a judicial commission into corporate state capture.
“It also shows how an individual Cabinet minister can use his position to serve private business interests, break policy coherence, and cause the confusions such as the presidency had to clarify regarding Zwane’s utterances. Such wrongful things must come to an end. The president needs to consider further action to achieve the objective,” the SACP said.
– African News Agency (ANA)