Arrogant Ben Martins should be called before Parliament – EFF

Fighters say inaction of SACP regarding corruption allegations is shocking

EFF statement on the arrogance of Ben Martins and inaction of the SACP

6 December 2017

The Economic Freedom Fighters condemns the arrogance of Gupta stooge, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, and South African Communist Party Politburo Member Ben Martins. As a deputy minister, Ben Martins has evidently been a stooge of the Gupta led criminal syndicate, which turned South Africa’s State-Owned Companies into hubs for looting and corruption. 

When called upon to give oral evidence and be examined like all others, Ben Martins refuses and instead writes a lousy submission which he claims explains everything. This act is irresponsible, illegal and decidedly unconstitutional because the Constitution obliges all members of the executive to account to parliament. 

The EFF calls on the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises to immediately invoke summons options of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act and call Ben Martins to come account in Parliament. Failure to do so should be followed by a police case against him because it is a criminal offence to ignore the summons from Parliament. 

What is more bewildering about the conduct of Ben Martins, however, is the attitude of the South African Communist Party (SACP), which created a false public impression that they are against the Gupta led criminal syndicate and corruption. Since evidence linking Ben Martins to the Guptas came out, the SACP has not said anything despite the fact that he is one of their most senior leaders. 

The SACP has also not called on Ben Martins to be held accountable in Parliament, and this makes them complicit in the whole phenomenon of the capture of State-Owned Companies by the Gupta led criminal syndicate. Because he is one of their fundraisers, it is highly possible that the SACP is failing to act on Ben Martins because they do not want to bite the hand that feeds them. It is also possible that the SACP received money from the Guptas and afraid that any action against Ben Martins might reveal their dealings.

The EFF calls on the SACP, and the ANC to instruct their member, Ben Martins to respect parliament and appear before the parliamentary committee to answer questions. We are aware that a significant number of ANC Members of the Executive are captured for Guptas’ and other private capitalist interests, but we will not stop the war against unaccountability and corruption. Ben Martins must appear before Parliament or face the might of the law.

Issued by Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi, Spokesperson, EFF, 6 December 2017