DA and ANC cross swords over call for Ramaphosa to testify

Zizi Kodwa says John Steenhuisen's call reckless, irresponsible and undermining of the commission

#StateCaptureInquiry: DA and ANC cross swords over call for Ramaphosa to testify

29 August 2018

The ANC has slammed the DA's call for President Cyril Ramaphosa to be called to testify at the state capture commission of inquiry.

DA chief Whip John Steenhuisen said in a statement that Ramaphosa and former president Jacob Zuma should be called to testify about their roles.

"Ultimately, the former and current president of the ANC, Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa, were in charge of the government the party led during the height of state capture," Steenhuisen said.

"There can be no holy cows," he added.

But head of ANC presidency Zizi Kodwa, said the DA's call for Ramaphosa to the testify was "reckless, irresponsible and undermines the commission".

"It is irresponsible of everybody and an organisation at this stage to make reckless statements about the testimony in the commission," he said.

"It's not for us as the public to begin to analyse the character of witnesses including their testimony," Kodwa said.

Zuma has a legal team at the commission, but he was yet to formally apply to cross-examine any of the witnesses that have implicated him. The commission is investigating allegations of undue influence by the Guptas on Zuma and his administration.

Zuma was implicated by former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor who told the commission that she was at the Guptas' Saxonwold mansion when the eldest of the brothers, Ajay, offered her a public enterprises minister job. She said she told him about the offer.

Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas said Ajay offered him the finance minister job.

Both Jonas and Mentor said Ajay was aware of a pending Cabinet reshuffle and Zuma fired the incumbents in those positions weeks after the job offers were made.

The commission, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, is in its fifth day and four witnesses have already been called to testify.

"It has taken an enormous amount of time and work to get to this point and we cannot allow the Zondo commission to leave any stones unturned," Steenhuisen said.

But Kodwa said it was too early for any conclusions to be reached.

"We are only in the second week of two years of the commission concluding its work. Therefore, we must allow the commission to do its work without fear or favour," he said.

In its statement, the DA provided a list of former ANC ministers who it believed should also be called to testify.

The list includes former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who allegedly helped the Guptas defraud the Estina dairy project in the Free State, former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, who allegedly facilitated the early naturalisation of the Guptas, former finance minister Des van Rooyen, who was appointed when Nhlanhla Nene was allegedly axed for blocking the nuclear build deal, and former SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane.

Kodwa distanced the party from those who have been implicated.

"If individuals of the ANC are implicated, it does not mean the ANC is implicated...therefore those individuals can be invited to come before it," he said.