Gigaba denies ‘defamatory’ state capture claims

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Gigaba denies ‘defamatory’ state capture claims

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has denied involvement in state capture. He was reacting to allegations in a report on state capture by the Public Affairs Research Institute (Pari) that he appointed people with Gupta-Zuma-aligned interests to the boards of state owned enterprises while he was Public Enterprises Minister, says a TimesLIVE report. The report is filled with inaccuracies and ‘continues the trend of defamation’‚ said Mayihlome Tshwete‚ Gigaba’s spokesperson. As reported in Legalbrief Today on Friday, Pari released a report‚ titled Betrayal of the Promise: How the Nation is Being Stolen‚ by several academics. The 72-page document details how the Gupta family‚ through various companies and friends‚ including President Jacob Zuma‚ gained beneficial access to profit from several multi-million-Rand contracts with state-owned companies‚ whether directly through shell companies and legitimate businesses or indirectly as brokers or middle-men – and how their actions can be likened to a ‘silent coup’. TimesLIVE notes the report contains a timeline of changes to the boards of state owned enterprises by Gigaba between 2010 and 2012‚ when he was Public Enterprises Minister‚ and alleges these appointments were part of the systemic reconfiguring of these boards to align certain interests.

Full TimesLIVE report

The report revealed ‘a toxic cocktail of patronage’, according to the Centre for Constitutional Rights and the Centre for Unity in Diversity in a joint statement. Executive director of the FW de Klerk’s Foundation, Theuns Eloff, said the report provided factual information and drew linkages between a powerful political elite and business individuals, notes a News24 report. ‘It reveals a toxic cocktail of patronage and corruption, all the while seriously undermining the constitutional state. Its biggest takeaway is that state institutions are being re-purposed to the detriment of all South Africans.’ Eloff noted the report follows the 2016 report into allegations of state capture, in which the erstwhile Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, recommended that the Chief Justice appoint a judge to preside over a commission of inquiry, to further probe the allegations. ‘In response to this, the President, whose name features quite prominently in the report, filed an application to review the State of Capture report before the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria). One of the grounds for review that he raises is the fact that in terms of section 84(f) of the Constitution, he is the only person who can appoint commissions of inquiry.’ Eloff asked: ‘What happens when the President is so conflicted that his appointing a commission of inquiry into his own conduct would elicit, rightly so, accusations of in-built bias? Should this conundrum suggest then, that it is impossible for there ever to be a commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by a president?’

Full News24 report

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