Researcher exposes Citizen newspaper, de Vos and DA



Nkosinathi Mbonani

Just when you think the Citizen newspaper and the Democratic Alliance have hit rock bottom on propaganda and unconstitutionalism; they strike again!

Former South African Airways chairperson is once again the subject of media scrutiny. This follows Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane snubbing the DA of a parliamentary appearance.

University of Cape Town law lecturer, Pierre de Vos allegedly told the Citizen that Mkhwebane and Myeni’s stance towards parliament could land them in trouble.

Without punching too many holes into the long-standing marriage between de Vos, the DA and the Citizen, it is important to point out that neither Myeni or Mkhwebane are charged with any irregularity.

Here are some facts the Citizen and other publications continually overlook:

1. Myeni was the chairperson of the board at a parastatal and was since replaced after completing two terms. Surely, if anyone has to answer on the business of SAA it should be the new board and not Myeni.

2. Myeni was not charged with any crime and if she had been, she’d appear before the court and not before parliament. She is under no law prescribed to appear before any standing body of parliament. The National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces is not an investigative body. If it was, Markus Jooste would have appeared before parliament for economic crimes and would have been jailed somewhere in the parliamentary precinct.

3. Mkhwebane appearing before the DA would be like the investigating officer appearing before the accused. No one can be prosperous enough to expect her to answer questions about her fitness to hold office from John Steenhuisen, a man she’s investigating for corruption. The office of the public protector is a chapter nine institution and can only be appointed by a president. The DA’s hit at Mkhwebane is not a new thing, in 2016 just before her appointment, the DA labelled her a spy, a comment they later retracted.

4. Minister of State-owned enterprises Pravin Gordhan has been doing business with SAA through his share-holding with corporate giant Bidvest. Once accused of running a rogue unit at the South African Revenue Services, his nephew Ketso Gordhan has been the beneficiary of government tenders and boasts a salary of more than 18 million rands a year. Gordhan also facilitated the enquiry into Eskom in parliament. Last month EFF leader Julias Malema claimed that Gordhan is the actual president of South Africa, What objective and uncaptured journalists should be asking themselves is why Gordhan is not investigated and not called to answer questions.

5. In September 2017 Dudu Myeni requested parliament to furnish her with details on why the DA wanted her to appear before parliament. In Myeni’s appearance in 2016, she provided evidence of state capture at SAA by members of the executive, implicating Pravin Gordhan.

6. The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) and two forensic investigations into SAA found no evidence of Myeni’s alleged impropriety. If such evidence existed, it would be channelled to the jurisdiction of the SAPS and not of the National Assembly.

7. De Vos’ assertion that Myeni may get into trouble for missing parliament is a year too late. Myeni is under no legal obligation to speak on anything related to SAA unless required by a court of law. You would think that a constitutional law “expert” would know that!

Why would journalists who don’t work for sinister political agendas not do their research? Is it because Dudu Myeni is the executive chairperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation? My advice to Ms Myeni is that she considers legal action against the Citizen and its cohorts!

I’m available for interviews.

Nkosinathi Mbonani is a researcher at the North West University. 
Training Research and Advocacy for development in South Africa and Ghana. FILE PHOTO: Supplied