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DA not applying double standards in marching on Gupta home - Maimane

News24 logo News24 2017-10-06 Jenni Evans | News24
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Cape Town - DA leader Mmusi Maimane has defended the opposition party's marches to the private homes of the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma.

This comes in the wake of an uproar over an ANC march to Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille's home, demanding that she "pay back the money" for security upgrades.

"One must draw a distinction. There is no corruption in what the mayor of Cape Town has done," Maimane told News24 on Friday, after a tweet he issued in June 2016 complaining about marching to people's private homes, was unearthed.

In the tweet of June 30, 2016, Maimane wrote: "I find these actions outrageous and dangerous. Whatever the issue marching to some1 (sic) house is wrong and dangerous."

A screengrab of a tweet by Mmusi Maimane in 2016. (Supplied) © Provided by A screengrab of a tweet by Mmusi Maimane in 2016. (Supplied)

At the time it was a response to a picket outside Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer's house by Equal Education, but some have questioned whether the party practices double standards when one of its own is involved.

Maimane said the reason the party kept up its marches to the Gupta home in Saxonwold was because its own complaints about them to the SA Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority were seemingly being ignored.

The family has been accused of directing some of Zuma's ministerial appointments to benefit their own businesses.

The DA has also tried to march to Zuma's estate in Nkandla before, but police stopped them.

Also read: 'Ballsy' Mbalula defends use of language

Maimane said the Thursday march to the Guptas' home in Saxonwold was for the same reason - that the opposition's charges and complaints about Zuma were being ignored and there was no other way to keep the pressure up.

"If the NPA said they were investigating the matter, there would be no need for a protest," he said. "We have a government that is refusing to investigate."

'Placed the mayor and her family at risk'

De Lille, who was suspended from party activities, along with Mayco member JP Smith, was not at home at the time of the picket at her house by about 10 ANC supporters on Thursday.

But it was enough to annoy Dirk Smit, the Speaker of the City of Cape Town, who is in council on a DA ticket.

He lambasted the ANC for making public details of De Lille's security arrangements.

"The same way any resident would not make details of their security features at their homes known to all and sundry, the sharing of this information has placed the mayor and her family at risk," said Smit.

"I will be reporting this to the SAPS, who will have to reassess the mayor’s house, and Council will have to redo the safety measures because these measures have been compromised with the details being made public," he said.

Also read: 'We have a strong case against de Lille'

Smit said that De Lille's security had cost R451 000, not the R700 000 the ANC claimed, and the upgrades had been based on a risk assessment by the SA Police Service.

These calls to De Lille to "pay back the money" mirror the long-running saga of the R246m spent on security upgrades at Zuma's private estate in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. He eventually paid back R7.8m of that money for items not regarded as security-related. This included R2.3m for a swimming pool, initially passed off as a "firepool".

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