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Reports of Guptas’ flight must not derail probe into state capture, says DA

Recent news reports about the “Guptas fleeing does not absolve Parliament of conducting an investigation” into the family’s alleged state capture‚ the Democratic Alliance (DA) says.

Rather‚ said the party’s public enterprises spokesperson‚ Natasha Mazzone‚ Tuesday’s “revelations” about “state-owned company Denel are just the latest in a long list of Gupta dealings and…should move Parliament to investigate the extent of state capture under the Guptas”.

BDlive had reported that the arms manufacturer’s joint venture with a Gupta-associated company‚ VR Laser Asia‚ is not legal‚ according to the Treasury.

The company has not received the permission of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to proceed with the transaction‚ BDlive said‚ saying it was in direct contradiction to a Denel statement last week that said the controversial joint venture had gone ahead and that “all applicable legal processes have been followed“.

Mazzone said she had followed up on Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises chairperson Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba’s refusal to “investigate the Gupta’s illicit dealings with the state”.

The DA request for a probe had been made in accordance with National Assembly (NA) Rule 138(a)‚ which‚ Mazzone said‚ “empowers a committee of Parliament to conduct its own investigations into matters of state and for evidence to be provided thereto”.

“…For Letsatsi-Duba to assert anything to the contrary is inexplicable given there is ample grounds for this investigation — both in the NA rules and the Constitution. One can only conclude that she has done this to shield the president and Gupta beneficiaries from due accountability in this regard‚” Mazzone added.

“In so doing she is clearly acting to protect the African National Congress and its already tainted reputation for allowing state-owned companies to be captured by the president’s friends.”

Mazzone opined that “reports revealing they have fled South Africa to Dubai” should not lead people to think that “state capture has ended and Parliament must hastily launch an enquiry into all the Guptas’ dealings”.

“Parliament has to satisfy itself that we know all the underhanded dealings of the Guptas to the extent where we can detail the entire monetary value of the dealings with the state.

“This will give South Africans informed knowledge of how much our economy has suffered and better place us to call for money to be repaid to Treasury.”