In a response to the DA’s complaint in October 2016, the Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, found that Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister, Des van Rooyen, wilfully and intentionally lied to Parliament about visiting the Gupta’s Saxonwold compound.
On Thursday, 1 March 2017, this deadline for President Cyril Ramaphosa to take appropriate action against Minister Van Rooyen, will be up. If he truly is serious about rooting out corruption, then President Ramaphosa should not hesitate to act against Van Rooyen.
The Public Protector recommended that “The President must within a reasonable time, but not later than 14 days after receiving this report, submit a copy thereof and any comments thereon together with a report on any action taken or to be taken in regard thereto, to the National Assembly.”
Amid swelling rumours of a Cabinet reshuffle, should Minister Van Rooyen be fired, he must still be held accountable for violating paragraph 2.3 (a) of the Executive Ethics Code and sections 96(1) and 96(2)(b) of the Constitution.
The DA will also exhaust all possible avenues to ensure that Minister Van Rooyen is investigated and face possible prosecution for all allegations of State Capture in CoGTA.
Recently, The DA wrote to House Chairperson, Cedric Frolick, to request that he compel the Portfolio Committee for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to institute a formal enquiry into the extent of State Capture in the Department as repeated requests to the Committee’s Chairperson, Hon. Richard Mdakane, have been routinely ignored.
Minister Van Rooyen has lost all credibility as a public official. While the DA will welcome his removal should it go ahead, it is vital that a culture of accountability is cultivated in the executive. Those who have violated the Ethics Code and the Constitution cannot be allowed to get off scot-free.