South African lawmakers said they will summon the Gupta family and the son of former President Jacob Zuma to appear before an inquiry that is investigating the mismanagement of public funds at state-owned enterprises.
The former chairwoman of South African Airways, Dudu Myeni, will also be subpoenaed after failing to heed two invitations to give testimony at the hearings in Cape Town, parliament said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.
The portfolio committee on public accounts is probing so-called state capture, or allegations that Zuma has allowed the Gupta family to secure state contracts and influence cabinet appointments. They all deny wrongdoing.
The “issuing of summons is the last resort that the committee had to undertake as invitations have been issued without any success,” parliament said in the statement. “It would be impossible to finish the work of the inquiry without the testimony of Ms. Myeni, including that of Mr. Zuma and the Gupta family.”
On Tuesday, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, who was minister of public enterprises when the board members involved in the allegedly corrupt contracts were named, told the committee he had a limited role in making the appointments and that state-security authorities should vet prospective board members more closely.
“There is a very high cost to corruption and allegations of state capture and there is a very high benefit to action being taken against those issues,” he said. “Unfortunately, the lesson can only be learned after enormous cost to the economy, but nonetheless the lesson has been learned.”