Maimane demands answers from police commissioner over Gupta charges

AUGUST 31, 2016

Acting National Police Commissioner, Kgomotso Phahlane, needs to explain to the people of South Africa as to why the South African Police Service (SAPS) is dragging its feet in proceeding with the criminal charges laid by the Democratic Alliance (DA) against Atul and Ajay Gupta earlier this year, the party said on Wednesday.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said that he has written to Phahlane in this regard, requesting that he clarify the following:

  • What progress has been made with regards to these charges;
  • Whether an investigation has been initiated by the SAPS;
  • If not, why not;
  • If so, who the investigating officer is; and
  • The expected date of completion of the investigation.

In March, the DA laid criminal charges against Atul and Ajay Gupta in terms of Section 4 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004), following revelations that members of the ANC-aligned Gupta family had offered cabinet positions to at least two ANC members in exchange for executive decisions favourable and beneficial to the Guptas’ business interests.

"After years of allegations over state favours, murky business relationships and clear cut nepotism between the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma, we made the case that this constitutes prima facie evidence of such illicit activity, and called on SAPS to conduct a thorough criminal investigation into this matter," said Maimane.

"It has now been almost half a year and the public remains in the dark on this matter – while the Gupta’s and President Zuma continue to raid government in order to benefit themselves personally.

"It is thus imperative that Mr. Phahlane breaks his silence and explains to the people of South Africa as to why no developments have occurred in relation to these criminal charges."

He said that while the Gupta’s may have decided to sell their business interests in South Africa, this does not rid South Africa of their destructive influence, and certainly does not absolve them from a criminal investigation into suspected acts of corruption.

"The DA will continue to pursue every possible avenue to ensure that the Gupta’s are brought to book for illegitimately using the South African government to further their own narrow business interests – at the expense of the people of South Africa."