What do Zuma, Mosebenzi Zwane and Des van Rooyen know about the Guptas and Dubai that we do not know? What was the purpose of their respective trips there? Have our intelligence agencies checked what they were doing there and why they acted so secretively? Will the National Assembly exercise scrutiny over them and call them to account?
South Africa suspects and its suspicions run deep because of the Zuma shenanigans from 200…9. Has the ruling party dug deep into the Dubai trips by the top three Gupta connections in government? Is Gwede Mantashe about to disclose what they were doing there or is he just going to ask us to accept that they were in Dubai in their private capacities and overlook the overwhelming probability that they were there on business that would not pass constitutional muster? Is Gwede Mantashe just going to explain away three coincidences that combine to form grounds for deep suspicion and disquiet?
That Zwane steered clear of the embassy and of South African diplomats tells a story in itself. As for Van Rooyen’s story that he was in Dubai for one day holiday stretches credulity to breaking point. They were up to something that has to be of great concern to all of us. They were on a mission that forebodes serious mischief. The fact that Mr Zuma made a last-minute change on his recent trip to Saudi Arabia to stop over in Dubai is circumstantial evidence that all three Gupta connections have been smoothing a Gupta exit from South Africa.
Congress of the People laid a charge of corruption and treason against both Mr Zuma and the Guptas. Our suspicion is that the Guptas are fleeing criminal prosecution. They must have been tipped that the game is over and that it was in their own interest as well as that of Mr Zuma that they should leave South Africa.
If their departure is permanent, it will indeed add credence to our view that they fled in order to escape investigation and prosecution. It will also suggest that Mr Zuma is so deeply implicated in corruption that South Africans must mount pressure on him for a judicial commission of enquiry into his role in corruption in South Africa. Gwede Mantashe and the ANC will surely not oppose that judging by their great and abiding confidence in Zuma.
For Ajay and Atul Gupta to leave at 21H00 on Thursday night, “with a mountain of luggage loaded on to the business jet ZS-OAK”, as the City Press is reporting, also raises concern.
The longer Mr Zuma remains in office the longer he will remain involved in scandals. Like Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Zuma would be saying “I am in (scandal) stepped in so far that should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” Zuma will need to go on trampling the Constitution to keep a few steps ahead of criminal prosecution. It would be no surprise to us if Zuma also exited South Africa to save his skin.