MP speaks about state capture

Natasha Mazzone spoke on state capture at the Hout Bay library last week.

DA MP Natasha Mazzone says state capture is a plan “demonic in its nature, but brilliant in its concept”.

At the party’s Hout Bay branch meeting at the Hout Bay library on Thursday September 6, Ms Mazzone outlined how state capture had been effected, but also updated delegates on the ongoing Zondo Commission of Inquiry.

“The Italian mafia operates on a code of silence, but with state capture we knew all we needed was for one person to sing,” she said, referring to the parliamentary enquiry committee tasked with investigating the political project.

“Our very first witness was (Eskom’s former chair) Mr (Zola) Tsotsi. He denied any wrongdoing until he was questioned on the role he played in the change of the Eskom board. We reminded him that if you lie to Parliament, you go straight to jail. He was clever, so he asked to be sworn in under oath to protect himself. He then began to tell us about a meeting at Jacob Zuma’s house, where he was told by Duduzane Zuma that the president wanted certain people appointed to the board. From that point on, not one witness didn’t ask to be sworn in under oath.”

Ms Mazzone shared details of how every move of the parliamentary committee was scrutinised, including herself. “My office in Parliament was ransacked, every file was opened. It’s madness that in Parliament people have the gall to do this.”

She also referred to the alleged attempt to bribe advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara to resign from the inquiry into state capture at Es-
kom.

The inquiry was showing Parliament was not just a “toothless rubber-stamping machine”, she said.

“What the Zondo Commission is trying to get at is who ultimately gave the instruction for the capture of state assets.

“It is a fair, free and open process. What we don’t want to do is break the process. We are often asked, ‘What about investigating what happened at Denel and Transnet?’ We want to see things happening faster, but the truth is there cannot even be one spelling mistake in our reports. There are billions and billions of dollars at stake, and the top legal brains in the country have been hired to defend state capture. We cannot make mistakes; our case has to be watertight.”

Ms Mazzone said when Cyril Ramaphosa became president, there had been new hope for many in the country. “But the fact is that Ramaphosa knew about state capture for nine years and kept quiet. Now the economy has shrunk by 3.4% under his presidency. Ramaphoria has turned into Ramageddon.”

She believed the ANC as a whole should be made to answer for state capture. “The ANC might have changed the labelling, but there’s still the same plonk inside the bottle,” she said.

Turning to turbulent events that had rocked the DA this year, including the stand-off with Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, Ms Mazzone acknowledged that the party should have been more transparent. “In our haste to rectify the situation, we overstepped our own processes,” she said of attempts to remove Ms De Lille from the mayoral chair.

But ANC spokesperson, Yonela Diko, said Ms Mazzone was displaying “political shallowness” in her sentiments.

“What has been shown in the past eight months is that outside Jacob Zuma, the DA has no galvanising ideology. It has no purpose or direction,” Mr Diko said.

“Their way of campaigning around flawed characters like Jacob Zuma does not work with Ramaphosa. One you have a leader like Ramaphosa who has attracted investment and cleaned up the SOEs (state-owned enterprises), a serious man who is the opposite of Zuma, this strategy no longer works.”

He said Ms Mazzone also displayed double standards, and she still harboured “enduring non-white suspicion”.

He said the City of Cape Town was happy to obtain huge loans from Germany, but the DA asked for “terms and conditions” when it came to the R33 billion Eskom loan from China.

Mr Diko rubbished Ms Mazzone’s view that Mr Ramaphosa knew about state capture but sat idly by. “If you look at corruption, it happens outside of constitutional structures. Ramaphosa sat on the national executive committee and other constitutional structures that were not corrupt, so to think he is linked to corruption is a stupid thing.”