'Mkhwebane must use briefing to release Gupta reports'

Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance on Sunday urged Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to release the reports involving the wealthy, politically connected Gupta family, saying it is telling that not one of the reports released by Mkhwebane during her tenure have involved any key political figures.

Following reports on Sunday that Mkhwebane had failed to release numerous reports involving the Guptas, the DA called on her to release them at her press conference scheduled for Monday, in the interest of transparency and the South African public, DA spokesperson Glynnis Breytenbach said.

"Reports today [Sunday] detail how Mkhwebane has for the last eight months failed to release at least four separate investigation reports involving the Gupta family," she said.

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These reports included, but may not be limited to: – The report of the investigation following a complaint laid by the DA into the illegal landing of Gupta wedding guests at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in 2013; – Numerous reports following investigations into the relationship and funding of Gupta media, The New Age (TNA), and key state-owned companies such as the SABC, as well as the North West provincial government; and – The relationship between certain African National Congress politicians and the Guptas.

"It is telling that not one of the reports released by Mkhwebane during her tenure have involved any key political figures, despite there being numerous complaints against such individuals," Breytenbach said.

"Given the flurry of reports uncovering just how far the ANC’s project of state capture has reached, it is more important than ever that the public protector investigate and report without fear or favour.

"The DA were concerned at her appointment and specifically that she has always been employed in and around government and that she specifically indicated that she wanted to have a more 'friendly relationship with government', which now seems to be proving true.

"However, Mkhwebane has an opportunity to act in the best interest of the South African public and release these reports at her press conference tomorrow [Monday] and the DA strongly urge her to do so," Breytenbach said.

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