Mbalula 'urban legend' started when I joked with him - Ajay Gupta

2016-03-18 10:17
Sport & Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Sport & Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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I was appointed by Jacob Zuma, not the Guptas - Mbalula

2016-03-17 16:48

Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula was put on the spot on Thursday regarding earlier accusations that his ministerial role was offered to him by the Guptas. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - One of the Guptas has related in The New Age newspaper on Friday how the "urban legend" that the family was involved in the appointment of Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula started off with a joke. 

 “I read a speculative report in a weekend newspaper that Fikile is being named as a possible minister. When I bumped into him a few days later I jokingly congratulated him on his possible appointment," Ajay Gupta said. 

"Fikile then tweeted that he was told by a Gupta that he is heading for the Cabinet.” 

The controversial family have released what they claim are the details of a meeting they had with the ANC's top six last month, in their The New Age newspaper on Friday. 

The details, which come from their holding company Oakbay Investments, were published in a double page advertisement in the paper. 

This comes after the family and President Zuma, who are said to have close ties, came under heavy scrutiny following claims by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor that the Guptas offered them top Cabinet posts. 

Oakbay Investments CEO Nazeem Howa said in a report in The New Age that the details of the company's meeting with President Jacob Zuma, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, chairperson Baleka Mbete, secretary general Gwede Mantashe, deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte and treasurer general Zweli Mkhize were being released after requests from the media for details of the meeting. 

“Also, we want to remove the misconceptions, misrepresentations and deliberate lies being purveyed by others about the company, the Gupta family and the friendship with Zuma,” he said.

News24 reported on Thursday that Mbalula ducked out of answering any questions on EFF leader Julius Malema's claim that he was appointed by the Gupta family.

"We are not governed by the Guptas, we are not run by the Guptas, we are here for sport," Mbalula said angrily after reading out a statement demanding that FIFA withdraw its claims that South Africans were involved in a massive bribery scandal.

"If you want to ask me about the Guptas, ask me out of this press conference."

He said he owed nobody an explanation and the onus was on the people making the claims to prove them.

"I am not going to join the chorus when I don't know who is the conductor," he said.

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

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

Read more on:    anc  |  gupta family  |  fikile mbalula  |  politics

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