Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance has asked President Jacob Zuma to withhold the appointment of former Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool as ambassador designate in the United States, the party said on Sunday.
"The DA has written to Zuma, requesting that he intervenes and withholds Rasool's appointment pending an investigation into the damning corruption allegations against him," said DA MP Kenneth Mubu in a statement.
The Cape Argus said on Wednesday that it was "aghast" at revelations that their former political reporter, Ashley Smith, allegedly took payments to write articles favourable to Rasool, then Western Cape premier.
In an affidavit, Smith said Rasool had used him as his "front line of attack" against rivals in the African National Congress, particularly provincial secretary Mcebisi Skwatsha.
Mubu said: "While officials in the US embassy in South Africa have confirmed that Rasool has been accepted as South Africa's next ambassador, it is up to the President to exercise his prerogative and withhold the appointment in light of the serious corruption allegations against him."
In a copy of the letter he wrote to Zuma, Mubu said he had no doubt that the president had every intention of ensuring that those with questionable records in public service were removed from service.
"There can be no doubt that the allegations against Rasool have raised serious questions about his conduct as a public representative.
"The DA is calling on the President to put his words into action."