The ANC once again managed to trump a vote by the opposition to call for a parliamentary inquiry into state capture by, specifically, the Gupta family.
Following a debate in parliament on Thursday, 103 MPs voted in favour of establishing an ad hoc committee to investigate corporate influence on state organs, ministers and President Jacob Zuma himself.
However, with 169 MPs voting against it, with one person abstaining, the motion was rejected.
The call for parliamentary scrutiny through an ad hoc committee was brought by DA MP David Maynier, who argued that South Africans and MPs meant to represent them had to stand up against “state capture” because it undermined the rule of law, trust in independent institutions and the legitimacy of democracy.
At it stood, with corporate and outside interference in government business, the captured state had become a failed state.
“We should ensure that the next time the Guptas are guests in parliament, they are guests of an ad hoc committee established to investigate allegations of state capture against them,” said Maynier.
His party leader, Mmusi Maimane, was more scathing.
“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,” he said.
Examples cited were the private and sanctioned use of the military Waterkloof Air Force Base for the Gupta family and the decision, allegedly at the behest of the same family, that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan first be replaced and most recently fall under investigation by the Hawks.
Added to this, Maimane said to appease the Gupta family’s desire for a coal mine, Zuma said: “I’ll give you your own minister of mineral resources [Mosebenzi Zwane].”
Zwane last week controversially issued a statement calling for a judicial inquiry in the banking sector. The Guptas’ accounts with some South African banks have been closed.
They have since moved to Dubai.
“As long as the Guptas have Number 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,” Maimane said.
ANC MP Sahlulele Luzipo said the DA were “bloodthirsty vampires” while his colleague added that the majority opposition party were guilty of corporate capture through the selling off of properties occupied by the poor.