DA chief whip John Steenhuisen invoked President Cyril Ramaphosa's controversial email about the Marikana mining strike to call for "concomitant action" against crime.Sweeping the debate on Thursday's State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Tuesday on behalf of the opposition, Steenhuisen picked up on a common theme for opposition speakers – that Ramaphosa must act against the ministers and ANC MPs tied to corruption.
"You cannot really expect anybody to take what you said about combating corruption seriously, while the most corrupt still sit in your party benches and around your Cabinet table. They will get you in the end - watch this space, and watch your back," a fired-up Steenhuisen said.Steenhuisen said he noticed who was clapping on Thursday evening when Ramaphosa announced that a directorate would be established in the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) to deal with corruption.
"How ironic that some of the most enthusiastic were the very undertakers of the Scorpions, people like the honourable [ANC MP Yunus] Carrim. And clapping like seals besides him were the very people on those benches who should be the first in [NDDP Shamila Batohi's] cross hairs," Steenhuisen said.'Watch your back'He said the test for the directorate would not be which officials or underlings they arrest, but "whether they start putting cuffs on the honourable members seated in this House".
"And your test will come when your party tries to stop that. Watch that space and watch your back.""Because you see Mr President, when a minister accepts a monthly retainer, braai packs, whisky and a car for their daughter, if I may quote a recent email of yours: 'It is plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such, there needs to be concomitant action,'" Steenhuisen said.
"When a senior parliamentarian is kept sweet through cash payments, security upgrades and university fees for his daughter in order to prevent Parliament from doing its job, 'It is plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such, there needs to be concomitant action.