PRETORIA, Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa’s top opposition party, has called on Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to step down because he believes Gigaba is “captured” by the Gupta family, an influential business family accused of exercising undue influence over senior figures of the State in a saga referred to as “State capture”.

Maimane made the call during the DA’s protest march to the Treasury head office here Thursday against State capture by the Gupta family. Maimane said the Jacob Zuma-led African National Congress (ANC) party had sold the country to the Gupta family and that other senior government officials had also been “captured”.

The protest march came two weeks before the debate on a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma in Parliament.

Maimane said: Our demand is simple; we want a Finance Minister who is clean, who knows that he’s not corrupt, who is not working for the Guptas. I need a Finance Minister who is not worried about how good he looks. So, we’ve got only one demand; ‘Gigaba and your Guptas, GiGupta please go! GiGupta must go! GiGupta must go!’

The Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, said unwarranted influence in critical government decisions chased away potential investors. Msimanga, who was among the DA leaders who accompanied Maimane in the protest march, said State capture hampered efforts to improve the lives of the people of South Africa.

So I am here to say I am trying to make sure that the people of Tshwane get jobs. I am trying to make sure we are able to attract investment into the capital city and therefore, until such time that we have a very good stance and in a solid policy position, we will never be able to attract investment into the capital city. We’ve heard now whether you call it white monopoly capital or we call it capital or monopoly capital, that is again a simple excuse or simple reason why we are here today to say ‘make up your mind. We need to move South Africa forward’.