Further claims of ‘Guptacracy’ to emerge - report

2016-03-18 08:34
Atul Gupta (File, Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Atul Gupta (File, Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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WATCH: When Zuma met Gupta - a family history

2016-03-18 06:52

Revelations this week of former and current MP's allegedly being offered ministerial roles by the Guptas have rocked South Africa. Who exactly are the Guptas? What has enabled them to flex political muscle? Watch. WATCH

Cape Town – Yet more ministers and prominent businessmen are expected to come forward with allegations of the Guptas meddling in government and state-owned enterprises.

The latest is former Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi who told the Mail & Guardian this week that he was kicked out of the energy company after he refused to do what the Guptas told him to.

He said the family accused him of giving business to people who were “hostile” towards President Jacob Zuma, with whom the Guptas are close friends.

On Thursday, Zuma told Parliament that the scandal had nothing to do with him and that he decided who was in his Cabinet, News24 reported.

Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas on Wednesday revealed he had been offered the finance minister post by the Guptas, and had turned them down.

"Go ask the Guptas, and Jonas, it has nothing to do with me. Where do I come in? Ask the people he said offered him the job," he said.

Tstotsi claims that the Guptas wanted exclusivity to supply gas through Eskom units in the Western Cape. But he told them that other businesses had already signed memoranda of understanding with Eskom.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe told the M&G did not have any knowledge of the allegations.

In 2013, the Sunday Times and M&G alleged that Vuyisile Kona met with the Guptas in October 2013 in his capacity as SAA board chairperson. He was allegedly offered R500 000 for his co-operation.

And previously in December 2010, the then head of the Government Communication and Information System, Themba Maseko, was said to have met with Ajay Gupta who demanded that government advertising be directed to the family’s New Age newspaper.

Maseko raised objections and resigned soon after.

An angry Mmusi Maimane, who was ordered to leave the National Assembly on Thursday, said Zuma was treating Parliament as his own lapdog.

"The president completely avoided answering the question of whether he in fact did consult anyone, and instead quoted sections of the Constitution which empower the head of executive to appoint and dismiss cabinet ministers," Maimane said.

The ANC's National Executive Committee is set to get under way in Pretoria on Friday, which could be seen to be a turning point for the ruling party.

The NEC is expected to discuss the scandal and receive a report back from the ANC's top six following a meeting with the Gupta family.

"The ANC must act decisively to send a very unambiguous and clear message that it won't allow its government including leadership of the ANC to be influenced by any individual regardless of their balance sheet."

There has been speculation regarding whether Zuma could find himself facing a recall.
However, on Thursday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said no one had asked for the recall of the president to be put on the agenda for the meeting.

Read more on:    anc  |  eskom  |  zola tsotsi  |  gupta family  |  politics  |  corruption

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