UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

TSHWETE’S PITIFUL ATTEMPT AT DODGING PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS ON THE MBEKI-PLOT ALLEGATIONS

STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY

 The UDM is completely unsatisfied and disappointed by the meeting between Minister Tshwete and the parliamentary committee on Safety and Security today. It was in our opinion a pitiful attempt to dodge the issue, since no questions were answered. The UDM finds the Minister’s unwillingness to answer questions very strange, since he is by nature an (often excessively) outspoken person. Ironically, the whole Mbeki-plot saga started with the Minister’s outspokenness when naming three leading businessmen and ANC leaders on live television as suspects.

The only matter of substance raised by the Minister is that he misrepresented the investigation originally as a plot against President Mbeki, and that he now appears to be saying the focus of the investigation is rather on allegations that Mbeki was involved in the murder of Chris Hani.

 The ANC MPs abused this parliamentary opportunity today as a platform to recommit themselves to Tshwete. This reminds of the recommitments that Mr Ramaphosa and Mr Jacob Zuma were forced to make in the past few months. Can we deduce from today’s recommitment, to Tshwete by ANC parliamentarians, that Tshwete is Mbeki’s candidate for the Deputy President’s position in the ANC and government?

The result of ANC MPs and Tshwete stubbornly sticking to their guns today is that Mr Smuts Ngonyama will have to back down from his statements yesterday and last week. In fact, the list of ANC-aligned luminaries who will have to back down and now rather support Tshwete includes: the executives of Cosatu, SACP, Sanco, as well as Nelson Mandela. What will be the internal cost to the ANC to force these people to retract? Equally important is the external cost to the country as a whole when abuse of power is openly practised and critics thereof are publicly contradicted and embarrassed.

The UDM is surprised by the vehement reaction of Tshwete and ANC MPs regarding our question of whether the ANC National Executive Committee and/or President Mbeki, gave the order for this investigation, as opposed to the Minister’s claim that the investigation resulted directly from evidence obtained by the SAPS. This issue lies at the heart of the question of whether the Minister is guilty of abuse of power.

Today after all was said and done South Africans are still stuck with the unanswered question: Is Minister Tshwete abusing state power to investigate and character assassinate perceived “enemies” of a seemingly paranoid presidency?

Enquiries:
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Safety and Security

Cape Town
3 May 2001