The civil society group Outa says it has unearthed enough evidence for President Jacob Zuma’s removal, writes Farren Collins.
In a dossier to be handed on Wednesday to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete‚ Outa says Zuma:
- Allowed himself to be influenced in his appointment of cabinet members;
- Appointed poorly qualified and incompetent individuals in decision-making positions (and retained them when he had ample reason and opportunity to remove them);
- Allowed corrupt individuals to benefit from state coffers or failed to institute action when he became aware of such conduct;
- Mismanaged his cabinet in a manner that has had a detrimental effect on the country and the economy;
- Used or manipulated state resources or appointments to avoid prosecution for at least 783 charges;
- Wilfully and maliciously lied or misled Parliament and the nation; and
- Abused his position to enrich himself‚ his family‚ his friends and his cronies.
“The building of this case document has taken several months‚ with a team of experienced investigators‚ researchers and legal counsel‚” Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage said at a media conference in Cape Town.
He said the dossier‚ titled “No room to hide: A President caught in the act”‚ set out a “compelling case showing there is no doubt about the truth of the claims of state capture”.
He added: “(It) provides those in positions of authority with sufficient evidence for justifying the removal of Zuma as president of South Africa. It also provides a basis for potential removal from office and prosecution of a number of officials in key state institutions.
“While the evidence stacked against President Zuma has been substantive and sufficient‚ we believe we have compiled a compelling case document that pieces together the facts and evidence in a manner that places beyond doubt the veracity of the claims against him. This document was developed in the format of a court application encompassing strong and compelling legal arguments.”
Duvenage said Outa had been advised that instead of turning to the courts‚ “we should present our case document to Parliament‚ with a view to requesting that it be tabled for discussion by the National Assembly. In doing so‚ we believe all MPs will be sufficiently empowered with substantive information about President Zuma’s conduct to help them decide how to vote during the forthcoming vote of no confidence.”
He said the case document‚ which had taken several months to compile‚ had been strengthened by:
- The South African Council of Churches report of its Unburdening Panel‚ released on May 18;
- The report by a team of academics under the Public Affairs Research Institute‚ “Betrayal of the Promise — How South Africa is being Captured”; and
- The #GuptaEmails.
Said Duvenage: “We recognise and thank the investigation teams at AmaBhungane‚ Scorpio and the Tiso Black Star Group‚ who have trawled through the content of thousands of documents and e-mails obtained from a server within Sahara‚ a Gupta-owned company.”
Outa hopes to give every MP a copy of its dossier‚ and Duvenage said copies would also go to the ANC national executive committee‚ the Hawks‚ the police minister‚ the National Prosecuting Authority and the Public Protector.
“As the case document has also been prepared and compiled in a manner that makes it suitable for presentation in a court of law‚ Outa will contemplate turning to the Constitutional Court when convinced that it would meaningful to do so‚” he said.
“Removing President Zuma from power is the primary step that needs to be taken before South Africa can start the journey of redressing the devastating effect that his conduct and the situation of state capture has had in our country.
“We believe that others implicated in the report should also be removed from office and prosecuted; we are handing this document to law enforcement for this purpose.”