This sudden summon, portends a lot for the country’s emerging democracy. Finally, the highly unanticipated summoning of the Guptas was proposed by ANC MP Zukile Luyenge during an appearance before the parliamentary oversight committee on public enterprises of the state-owned arms manufacturer Denel yesterday.
The meeting was called to discuss the progress Denel has made in taking disciplinary action against three of its former top executives: CEO Riaaz Saloojee, CFO Michael Mhlotho and company secretary Elizabeth Africa.
The three left Denel last year after being suspended when they refused to comply with board instructions to facilitate joint ventures with Gupta-linked firms Denel Asia and VR Laser SA.
MPs said they did not understand why a state-owned enterprise needed “middlemen” to grow their businesses in the Middle East and other markets.
“We’ve heard that suppliers, or some of the service providers in Denel, are all owned by the Gupta family. If that is the case, have the right supply-chain processes been followed? If that’s not the case, then why is this Gupta name not blacklisted? Why don’t we take them onto a platform to say you are doing wrong in terms of the constitution?
“Let’s just call these Guptas [to parliament] and they must tell us how they came to provide services at the level at which they are doing,” he said.
It was noted that Portfolio committees have the authority to summon anyone in terms of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Act.
Moreover, the Guptas name was mentioned frequently when there-employment of Brian Molefe as Eskom CEO was debated before the committee on Tuesday.