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State capture: Mashaba to lay criminal charges against Ramaphosa, Zuma and other ANC bigwigs

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba. Picture: File

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba. Picture: File

Published Jul 3, 2022

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ActionSA president Herman Mashaba will lay criminal charges against some of those exposed in the state capture reports this week. That’s if NPA head Advocate Shamila Batohi does not respond to his letter.

The party said a letter had been sent to Batohi on Tuesday.

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In this letter, Mashaba, the former DA mayor of Johannesburg, asked Batohi to announce the steps that will be taken by the NPA when it comes to state capture, and to institute criminal proceedings against those implicated in the report within seven business days of receipt of their letter.

Mashaba, according to highly-placed sources, wants Ramaphosa and Zuma charged, as well as incumbent minister of energy Gwede Mantashe, ex-Eskom and Transnet boss Brian Molefe, suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, and erstwhile minister of public enterprises Lynne Brown.

Others include the likes of the disgraced former minister of finance Malusi Gigaba and former Eskom acting chief executive Matshela Koko.

“There’s more names, but that’s the names Herman singled out,” an insider said.

Mashaba told Weekend Argus he couldn’t confirm the names of those he wants to charge as yet.

“At this stage, I can't confirm the names of the people ActionSA will lay charges against in the event of NPA not acting,” he said.

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The charges will be laid at a police station in Johannesburg.

“Herman is still choosing between Johannesburg central police station or Rosebank police station,” a source said.

“As yet, Batohi has not responded to Herman’s letter.”

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Mashaba, Weekend Argus understands, wants to obtain a nolle prosequi certificate in order to institute a private prosecution of the alleged state capture culprits.

The latest damning findings in the four-year investigation into state capture point out that Ramaphosa could have taken steps against his predecessor in respect of some of the allegations levelled against him.

The final report was released last month.

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Ramaphosa, who was Zuma's deputy in the so-called “state capture era”, described the corruption as "an attack on our democracy“ after Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who led the commission, handed over the report in Pretoria.

The looting and mismanagement of South Africa's state-owned enterprises during Zuma's nine years in office was dubbed a coup d’etat. It eventually took 400 days for the investigative panel to gather the evidence of more than 300 witnesses, including Ramaphosa.

Zuma’s name repeatedly popped up in all the state capture reports, but the latest volume of the report states that there is “sufficient evidence“ Zuma accepted compensation from Bosasa, which had contracts with the state.

Zuma last week lambasted the fifth and final report, saying it contained a mix of outlandish claims, hyperbole and outright falsehoods.

Zuma’s legal team will, according to his spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi, now apparently approach the Judicial Service Commission in the next few weeks to lodge widespread grievances against Zondo.

The ANC’s Pule Mabe said: “We are not aware of this (ActionSA’s proposed actions), and even if something like this had to come to our attention, seeing that it is driven by another political party, as you allege, it has traits of politicking.”

Two of the Gupta brothers, who left the country when the state capture investigation commenced, were arrested in Dubai last month and are in the process of being extradited to South Africa.

In March this year, the trade union Solidarity laid criminal charges against 19 alleged state capturers, including Zuma.

According to Dr Dirk Hermann, chief executive of Solidarity, the accused included Zuma, Dudu Myeni, who is the former chairman of SAA, and Molefe.

Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said ActionSA was jumping the gun and underestimated the amount of preparatory work that needed to be done before one could lay a charge.

“In addition, those implicated have promised to take the recommendations affecting them on judicial review,” Seepe said.

“ActionSA should rather allow the process to unfold. Only then can they pursue their intention. They should also only do so when the NPA chooses to turn a blind eye to obvious facts.”

Zuma ally Carl Niehaus said: “I have noted the announcement by ActionSA that they will try to institute a so-called private prosecution against whom they call 'capturers of the State'.

“While this kind of rushed and propagandistic action by ActionSA is not surprising in the light of their past history, and specifically the fixation that they have demonstrated with regard to trying to get president Jacob Zuma by hook or by crook prosecuted, this is a new low for them, even by their own dubious standards.”

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