16 February 2018

South Africa: EFF Shouts 'Ace!' As Ramaphosa Vows to Tackle Corruption

ANC secretary general and Free State Premier Ace Magashule became the centre of attention - just for a moment - during President Cyril Ramaphosa's maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA) - and it wasn't for a good reason.

As Ramaphosa was speaking on the government's intentions to "'turn the tide on corruption", Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs could be heard howling: "Ace!Ace!"

The EFF MPs shouted and signalled for Magashule to go and, in response, Ramaphosa smirked. The DA also joined in, pointing at Magashule.

In an effort to control of the racket, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered MPs to give Ramaphosa a chance to finish, saying that his voice was tired and MPs were competing with it.

Her mild reprimand was received by EFF members with light smiles.

During raids by the Hawks on compounds of the infamous Gupta family, eight Gupta associates were arrested in connection with investigations into the Free State Vrede dairy farm project.

In January, the Hawks also conducted search and seizure operations at Magashule's offices and the provincial office of the Department of Agriculture, News24 previously reported.

An affidavit has revealed that Free State's agricultural department - under then agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane - allegedly paid R220m to the Guptas and some of their associates in what the Asset Forfeiture Unit calls a "scheme designed to defraud and steal monies from the department". Zwane is now Minister of Mineral Resources.

One hundred black emerging farmers were promised five cows each as part of the empowerment scheme, but they never received them.

Gifted to the Gupta-linked Estina in 2013, under a free 99-year lease by the provincial agriculture department, the farm has been one of the most scandalous transactions between the Guptas and a government entity.

The Gupta Leaks revealed in 2017 how at least R30m paid to the Guptas, via the farm, ended up funding the family's lavish Sun City wedding in 2013.

Source: News24

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