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LISTEN | Ramaphosa, Mashatile, Zuma are among ActionSA’s most wanted 'criminals'

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says if his party is in government, it will act decisively to expedite investigations and give the National Prosecuting Authority the teeth it needs to put criminals behind bars.
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says if his party is in government, it will act decisively to expedite investigations and give the National Prosecuting Authority the teeth it needs to put criminals behind bars.
Image: Supplied

ActionSA has vowed to tackle crimes allegedly committed by politicians by hunting down its “most wanted” individuals the party believes are implicated in corruption.

The opposition party seeks to introduce processes in parliament to ensure the quick and successful investigation and prosecution of those facing damning allegations should it win big at the polls.

Briefing the media outside the Gupta family’s former Johannesburg residence, known as the “Saxonwold Shebeen”, party leader Herman Mashaba said his government would expedite investigations and give the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) the teeth it needs to put criminals behind bars in their first 100 days of office.

It was at this very compound that the Gupta family conspired with our president to capture our state, controlling the apparatus of government, deciding on key state appointments and, ultimately, stealing an estimated R500bn from the South African people.”

Mashaba called it a travesty of justice that six years since the state capture era came to a supposed end with the election of President Cyril Ramaphosa, not a single successful state capture prosecution has taken place.

“Two years since chief justice Raymond Zondo tabled the final state capture commission report, not a single person fingered in the report is behind bars.

“The Gupta family themselves, after spending nine years happily hollowing out the state, were able to escape prosecution after the ruling party bungled their extradition processes.”

The ActionSA leader slammed government for destroying the justice system, saying it has left criminals to get away with impunity.

Ramaphosa, his deputy Paul Mashatile, minister Bheki Cele, Parks Tau, David Mahlobo and embattled parliament speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula are among those topping ActionSA's “most wanted” list.

“I will proclaim Special Investigating Unit investigations into, among others, Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala dollars cover-up, the VBS scandals where billions were stolen from our grandmothers and grandfathers, Mashatile's extensive network of benefactors who sponsor his luxurious lifestyle, and the corrupt relationship between the state and consulting firms that have seen billions siphoned from state projects like Kusile and Medupi, to name only two.”

The party also eyed former president Jacob Zuma, saying under their leadership, medical parole will not be abused.

“No person will be released on medical parole only to, like Schabir Shaik, make a ‘miraculous’ recovery and play on golf courses weeks later. Zuma was released on medical parole after only serving two months of his prison sentence, but today appears active on the campaign trail at events across the country.”

Mashaba said it was not political interference which has stopped thee cases from being prosecuted, but political interference which has protected individuals from accountability.

“Chief justice Zondo himself said implementation of the state capture commission report has been slow, likely due to a lack of political will.

“It is a lack of political will which has seen the return of corruption-accused politicians such as Cele, Zizi Kodwa and Mahlobo on ruling party lists to be MPs.

“It is a lack of political will that allowed Tau to be promoted to deputy minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs in Ramaphosa’s government even after damming corruption allegations emerged,” he said.

Mashaba, a former Joburg mayor, said during Tau's tenure as finance MMC in Johannesburg, he allegedly conspired with late mayor Geoff Makhubo to award lucrative city contracts to Gupta-linked Regiments Capital, for which Makhubo’s company, Molelwane Consulting, allegedly received a 10% kickback. Mashaba alleged Tau’s wife also benefited from the Regiments relationship.

During his tenure as mayor, the prime-positioned land above the Sandton Gautrain Station, valued at R280m at the time, was gifted to a consortium led by Regiments Capital. No money was paid to the city. Tau’s brother-in-law and a mysterious trust with ANC pedigree received R10m for this deal,” he alleged.

“I myself laid criminal charges against Tau in December 2018, but do you think police ever cared to investigate?” Mashaba said.

The ActionSA leader said his party would reinstate the Scorpions and an empowered NPA to prosecute any political leader, even the president.

“The NPA is too heavily dependent on the department of justice for its funding, while the national director of public prosecutions is appointed by the president.

“ActionSA will ensure the NPA’s independence by significantly expanding its funding and allocating its budget directly from the Division of Revenue Act, instead of the department of justice. The party also seeks to establish specialised anti-corruption courts to expedite the prosecution of corruption cases and cultivate a culture of accountability.

We will increase the minimum sentence for anyone guilty of corruption in transactions exceeding R500,000 to 15 years imprisonment without the possibility of a fine or parole,” he said. 

Mashaba vowed to protect whistle-blowers and reverse the breakdown of the rule of law.

“Under ActionSA, whistle-blowers such as Babita Deokaran, who are heroes in our society, will finally be protected. We will ensure legislation is updated to entrench the confidentiality of whistle-blowers, ensure they are protected against retaliation, provide them with appropriate legal immunity and provide access to remedial action.”

The party criticised government's handling of high-profile cases, claiming they allow implicated individuals to get away with murder. He vowed to bar them from occupying parliament seats.

“More than two weeks after Mapisa-Nqakula faced imminent arrest over allegedly receiving bribes when she was defence minister, President Ramaphosa is yet to condemn her behaviour.

“Instead, she gets away with being placed on special leave, thereby still enjoying parliamentary benefits. We will introduce a legislative amendment which will prohibit criminals who have been convicted of serious fraud or corruption charges to come to parliament.”

Mashaba vowed an ActionSA government will have the political will to act against corruption, even if it is not convenient.

“As city of Johannesburg mayor, I removed no less than four MMCs, including three from my own party, for poor performance, blocking corruption investigations or misconduct. In government, ActionSA will act with the same level of decisiveness.”

Mashaba said more individuals would have featured on their “most wanted” list, but were exempt due to death.

“Had it not been for their untimely demise, individuals such as Bosasa’s Gavin Watson and Steinhoff’s Markus Jooste could have been included on this list. Grand corruption and fraud is not limited to politicians, but is enabled by a complicit private sector.”



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