NEWS & ANALYSIS

Why is Ramaphosa still silent on the ANC jet scandal? – Kobus Marais

DA MP says it is clear the President is powerless to stop the rampant corruption and theft by the ANC

Why is Ramaphosa still silent on the ANC jet scandal?

11 September 2020

Over 48 hours have now passed since the scandalous revelation that ANC party officials used a state military jet like an ‘Uber’ to Harare, on party business.

Yet President Ramaphosa remains absolutely silent, and is ignoring urgent calls to speak up and take action against these senior ANC cadres. Ramaphosa is both Commander in Chief of the SANDF, and Head of the ANC, and thus enjoined to make an urgent public statement on how his party has illegally benefited from an aircraft of the state he leads.

Why is Ramaphosa still silent on this matter?

Less than two weeks ago, Ramaphosa announced with great fanfare that the "ANC will be drawing a line in the sand against corruption".

Yet, the President has not said a single word about his Party's most recent transgression.

In his letter to ANC structures on Sunday 23 August, Ramaphosa lamented the fact that the ANC stands in the dock for corruption "as Accused No. 1".

What emerges more clearly with each passing day is that Ramaphosa is powerless to stop the rampant corruption and theft by the ANC, and the ANC will forever remain Accused no 1 when it comes to corruption.

I want to remind President Ramaphosa of the facts of this matter:

A delegation of ANC members, led by Secretary General, Ace Magashule, flew to Zimbabwe in a state-owned jet at the taxpayers' expense. This is a flagrant blurring of state and party lines and abuse of state machinery. It amounts to theft from the people, by the ANC;

There is no response to our question of whether the delegation had the permission of the Transport Minister to undergo this trip, as dictated by Level 2 lockdown regulations. If he did, we call for transparency and the documentation to be made public. If not, ANC officials have broken the lockdown regulations;

There is no indication of who paid for the delegation's accommodation and other expenses; and

There is no clarity on the real purpose of the Minister of Defence's trip to Zimbabwe, given that a previous SADC troika meeting took place virtually.

Ramaphosa can write a letter every day, for the next decade, about his commitment to eradicate corruption. But as long as he keeps quiet about incidents like this, it's just going to be empty words.

Ramaphosa was unwilling to speak out against the redeployment of the corrupt Zandile Gumede in the KZN legislature. He was unwilling to speak out against the awarding of Covid-19 contracts to the sons of Ace Magashule. He is yet to fire his spokesperson, where massive family enrichment through Covid tenders is plainly apparent. And now, once again, he is not prepared to speak out against the corrupt misuse of state resources by ANC cadres.

If the president has anything left to prove about fighting corruption, he will make his voice heard today. We're waiting, Mr. President.

Issued by Kobus Marais, DA Shadow Minister of Defence, 11 September 2020