'Politically motivated' emails leaked to influence ANC NEC - Gupta lawyer

2017-05-28 13:11
Oakbay chair Atul Gupta and President Jacob Zuma (Photo: GCIS)

Oakbay chair Atul Gupta and President Jacob Zuma (Photo: GCIS)

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Cape Town - The Gupta family's lawyer Gert van der Merwe says it appears potentially damning emails leaked to Sunday newspapers were specifically timed to influence the African National Congress's National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this weekend.

“It is obviously a well placed and a well, let’s say, pitched effort to gain some political momentum and perception. And I assume it is with regard to do with what is happening in Irene today [Sunday].”

Van Der Merwe confirmed he was referring to the meeting of the ANC’s NEC in Irene where President Jacob Zuma's future was set to be discussed.

The leaked emails outline the extreme influence the Gupta family apparently has over Zuma and some of his close associates.

READ: Zuma's Dubai exit plan

But Van der Merwe told News24 that he could not yet say whether the emails were genuine or not, as he had not seen them. 

“We were never supplied with the documents on which these articles ostensibly rely. We couldn’t verify the authenticity thereof. We couldn’t verify whether these documents are in fact true documents from computers of staff. “

He said he spoke to the Gupta family on Sunday morning and said they denied any wrongdoing.

   

“They reserve their right against these newsrooms who published these stories,” he said. 

Van Der Merwe said in order to comment on the content of the leaked emails, which made the front pages of the City Press and the Sunday Times on Sunday, he would have to first read them. He would then have to have a “consultation with the people involved”.

“The allegation as I read it is that these documents or emails were in some way, they don’t say how, obtained from private computers,” Van Der Merwe said. “So there is a lot you have to establish before you can comment, and the least for me to be would to have access to those and understand where they came from”

If the documents were obtained from an unlawful source, he said would be surprised if this was “balanced reporting.”

“Unless these newspaper had the open mindedness to at least show me the documents on which they rely, (then) that would have been fair to request comment from me.”


Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  gupta family  |  gupta emails

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