ANC rejects DA’s claims that Chief Whip supported Gupta ad-hoc investigation

BY CHARL BOSCH - MARCH 29, 2016

The African National Congress (ANC) has blasted claims by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that its newly elected Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu, had voiced his support for the establishing of a parliamentary ad-hoc investigation into the influence of the controversial Gupta family on government.

In an interview with the Sunday Times this past weekend, Mthembu reportedly stated he was for the matter being discussed in Parliament, as “we can't allow this democracy that we fought so hard for to serve not our people, but some business connections”.

Speaking in a statement shortly after, DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said Mthembu must prove his comments were not merely “lip service”, by having the ruling party’s entire caucus vote in favour for the ad-hoc investigation when the National Assembly meets next term.

ANC spokesperson Moloto Mathapo has however branded Steenhuisen’s claims as “ridiculous”, saying Mthembu never agreed for an investigation to take place.

“When asked by various media houses whether the ANC would support a parliamentary debate on the allegations surrounding the Guptas, the ANC Chief Whip stressed that, as a general principle, Parliament as should never quash multiparty debates. However, each proposed debate should be subjected to the established parliamentary process for consideration and a decision by all parties.” Mothapo said.

“Only a delusional misapprehension would interpret this clear assertion (on parliamentary debates) to mean the ANC Chief Whip supports the DA's proposal for a "parliamentary investigation" into alleged state influence by the Gupta family”.

He also warned that Parliament should not confuse itself by carrying out multiple investigations into state entities, as some were already being scrutinised by the Hawks and the office of the Public Protector.