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SACP wants Gupta sales stopped

27 August 2017 - 12:57 By Katharine Child
Blade Nzimande. File photo
Blade Nzimande. File photo

The SA Communist Party's (SACP) central committee has called on the SA Reserve Bank to stop the Guptas from selling their Tegeta mining company‚ newspaper and TV station‚ saying the family is using the sales to shift public funds abroad.

Communist Party General Secretary Blade Nzimande addressed the media following the SACP's central committee's first meeting since they were elected in July.

It is unclear how the Reserve Bank‚ whose mandate is to maintain the stability of the currency‚ has any power to stop the sales of the two private companies. But the SACP expressed concern that the Guptas are using the sales to move their money out of South Africa.

Nzimande said: "These dummy sales are brazen attempts by the Guptas to restore suspended banking services‚ to evade tax responsibilities and to expatriate yet more ill-gotten wealth. The transparent crudeness of these 'sales' underlies the racist contempt in which the Guptas hold South Africa's black majority.”

Tegeta‚ which was bought by the Guptas thanks to Eskom paying in advance for the mine's coal‚ is being sold to Amin Al Zarooni ‚ who owns a Swiss-based shelf company.

Nzimande warned: “The Reserve Bank and commercial banks must block these manoeuvres before billions more rands of public resources disappear into Dubai.”

Nzimande called Mzwanele Manyi‚ who is buying ANN7 television station and The New Age newspaper‚ a “front man” and said Manyi had paid an inflated price of R450-million for the companies.

He also said the SACP will raise the issue of delays in starting the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture with the ANC‚ in a planned meeting. The commission of inquiry was agreed to by the ANC and President Jacob Zuma in May‚ but Nzimande said “nothing has happened”.

“It is something we will share with the ANC. We can't still be talking about this. We agreed on this [inquiry].

“In light of the avalanche of e-mails [exposing] the sheer scale of looting public resources ‚ we cannot passively await a long-postponed judicial commission.”

Nzimande warned that if the criminal justice institutions didn't act with urgency on the allegations revealed in the leaked emails‚ “billions of rands of public money will continue to be spirited out of our country to Dubai”.

The SACP wants the separate parliamentary inquiry into state capture to expand its mandate to investigate claims the Guptas evaded paying tax.

The SACP called for “a massive working class mobilisation against state capture and corruption”.

It said marches and protests against state capture could not only be attended by "the middle class and capitalists".

Nzimande said the 14th congress central committee's first meeting on the weekend occurred at “very challenging and complex time" for South Africa.