Ministers must deny publicly they were never approached by Guptas‚ says COPE

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Congress of the People (COPE) is demanding that every minister and deputy minister make public a sworn affidavit denying ever having been approached by someone from the Gupta family or the Zuma family‚ “together or separately‚ to lend support for any kind of an egregious business deal or any kind of deal whatsoever”.

If after that any story should break‚ such as the Sunday Times lead story about the “Guptas’ R51-bn train grab”‚ the minister or deputy minister unmasked should have to resign‚ COPE said on Sunday.

“[ANC secretary general Gwede] Mantashe’s conveniently aborted investigation that investigated nothing and buried everything was the farce of the century. More than three quarters of the country no longer believe that the ANC is capable of tackling the issue of state capture.

“The ANC elite have stepped into the river of corruption so far that to turn back now‚ as Shakespeare would have said‚ would be as tedious as going over‚” said COPE spokesman Dennis Bloem.

“The time has therefore come for the public to demand accountability because the ANC caucus in the legislature has perjured itself by failing to do what it had solemnly sworn to do: subject the executive to scrutiny and hold the cabinet accountable to it. MPs want to hang on to their pay cheques whichever way they can.

“Only through sustained public pressure will ministers and deputy ministers whose hands are clean lead in making affidavits that they never ever dealt with Duduzane or the Gupta family in any way. Those who have something or plenty to hide will show themselves by ducking and diving‚” Bloem added.

It was also important‚ he said‚ to ask whether Ben Martins had lost his ministerial position because he didn’t play ball with the Guptas or because he moved too slowly for their liking.

“Our suspicions have been aroused. It is unfortunate that Ben Martins missed the recent opportunity to disclose what is now being revealed of his own accord. He had a duty to do so but flunked it.

“Only intense public pressure will reveal all the moves on the monopoly board that Duduzane and the Gupta family have been making since Duduzane’s dad took the chair in the presidency‚” Bloem said.

Sowetan

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