ANC ready to debate Gupta 'state capture' - Mthembu

2016-03-22 11:59
Jackson Mthembu (File, Michael Hammond, Die Burger)

Jackson Mthembu (File, Michael Hammond, Die Burger)

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Johannesburg - The ANC will be ready to debate the alleged "state capture" by the politically connected Gupta family in Parliament, if other parties table it, newly appointed chief whip Jackson Mthembu said on Tuesday.

"The ANC in its entirety... says we cannot allow the state to be captured. Finish and klaar," he told News24.

"It has got a detrimental impact on what type of South Africa we want to see moving forward. If you get captured, you can't even fulfill your policies because then you must act in the interest of whoever has captured you. Therefore it cannot be an option."

This was not an issue for Parliament, but if one of the opposition parties wanted it to be debated, the ANC was ready with its position.

"I think we are ready to debate any issue from a premise that says we cannot allow anybody, anybody, immaterial of who they are, to let their business interest influence our state."

The ANC national executive committee (NEC) met at the weekend where the issue was discussed.

This followed a turbulent week for the ruling party as allegations surfaced that the Guptas, who are said to have close ties to President Jacob Zuma, were offering party members Cabinet positions.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Sunday said the NEC had instructed officials and the national working committee to gather all pertinent information about the allegations.

Revelations by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former MP Vytjie Mentor that they had been offered Cabinet positions by the Gupta family saw the public and some party members calling on the NEC to take action.

Mantashe said the issue was being taken seriously and called on those with evidence to come forward.

Last week, Mthembu expressed outrage at the Gupta family after Jonas's explosive announcement that he was offered the finance minister post before Nhlanhla Nene was removed. Mthembu said he believed the ANC should "deal with this arrogance of the Guptas once and for all".

On Tuesday, Mthembu said he agreed with the ANC's decision on how to deal with the matter.

"The entire leadership of the ANC says you cannot agree to any capture of the state by anybody whether it be the Guptas, or white capital or anybody... you can't agree to that.

"The one that has come up now is capture by the Guptas and I think the ANC correctly has said can we ask all those who have got information to come forward and we fully concur with that articulation."

He said the ANC could not act on "rumours or allegations in the media", it needed proof.

"We must act on information, credible [information] that we have in our files as the ANC and then say what do we do."

Read more on:    anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  jackson mthembu  |  jacob zuma  |  mcebisi jonas  |  gupta family  |  parliament 2016  |  politics

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