DA denies getting Gupta money

2013-01-28 22:13
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. (Picture: Sapa)

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The DA has denied receiving funding of R4m last week from the Gupta family, close allies of President Jacob Zuma.

"The statement by [ANC Western Cape leader] Marius Fransman... is a complete fabrication and a figment of Mr Fransman's imagination," DA spokesperson Jordan Hill-Lewis said on Monday.

The New Age newspaper quoted Fransman earlier in the day as saying the DA received the R4m last week, and used the money to refurbish its offices in Cape Town.

Unsourced reports about funding for the DA surfaced on Saturday.

The Weekend Argus quoted unnamed sources as saying Helen Zille had gone to the Gupta family's estate in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, in 2011 to ask for a donation.

She left with a "substantial" cheque, believed to be several hundred thousand rand, the paper said.

Asked for comment, Zille told the newspaper: "The issue is not whether the Guptas have ever donated money to the DA. The issue is, if they did, whether the DA ever channelled huge amounts of public money to them in return. The answer is no."

The Weekend Argus said comment was not immediately available from the Guptas.

On Monday, The New Age newspaper, owned by the Guptas, reported Fransman as saying Zille should come clean on who funded the DA.

Sapa approached Zille's spokesperson Cameron Arendse for comment on Monday morning, but was told Zille could not be reached immediately.

After a wait of about two hours, Arendse was still unable to comment.

Sapa then opted to lift the relevant sections from the reports in the Weekend Argus and The New Age, and told Arendse it was doing so.

On Monday afternoon, Hill-Lewis said: "It is irresponsible of The New Age to report it [the R4m] without any checking and irresponsible of Sapa to repeat it without any checking."

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