Around two months ago, the news emerged that Minister for Communications Faith Muthambi could face criminal charges over her testimony in the SABC inquiry.
While no charges relating to the inquiry have yet to be laid, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse has decided to go after Muthambi with charges of its own.
In a statement released today Outa announced it has laid charges of treason against Muthambi at the Brixton police station in Johannesburg.
Outa alleges that Muthambi’s involvement in state capture revealed through the Gupta email leaks is serious enough to merit treason charges. The group points to a series of emails that Muthambi allegedly sent to Tony Gupta and Sahara’s CEO Ashu Chawla concerning executive policy. Outa says that the language in the emails is as alarming as their content.
In a statement Outa said:
The first of these emails reads: “These sections must be transferred to the Minister of Communications”. This refers to an attached document describing the statutory provisions which “must be transferred” to her portfolio, from the Postal and Telecommunications portfolio. In the emails the word “must” creeps in, begging the question: who is actually in charge, the Guptas or the President?
The second email reads: “Sentech’s signal distribution must rest with the Ministry of Communications”. Again the attached document motivates why there should be a transfer of powers and functions over Sentech from the Minister of Postal and Telecommunications.
In another email to Chawla, on a draft proclamation in the name of the President, transferring more administration, powers and functions to her portfolio, Muthambi’s words are even more strident: “See attached Proclamation that President must sign.”
“Faith Muthambi knowingly and deliberately shared three confidential Cabinet memoranda, through emails with Tony Gupta, Duduzane Zuma and Sahara’s CEO Ashu Chawla. These people should never have been privy to any ministerial communication and policy discussions,” said Dominique Msibi, OUTA’s Portfolio Director for Special Projects.
“When the court finds Faith Muthambi guilty, this should mean a sentence of life imprisonment,” Msibi added.