Durban – The Gupta family on Tuesday challenged former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor to file an affidavit stating under oath that she was offered a ministerial position by the family.
The family said there has never been a meeting between them and Mentor where Mentor was offered a top job, as she claimed.
On Monday night Mentor said in a Facebook post that she had been offered a job by the family.
She wrote: "But they had previously asked me to become Minister of Public Enterprises when Barbara Hogan got the chop, provided that I would drop the SAA flight-route to India and give to them. I refused and so I was never made a Minister. The President was in another room when they offered me this in Saxonworld. [sic]"
Her post was a response to another Facebook post DA member and former Cope spokesperson Johann Abrie had made earlier.
Abrie had posted a cartoon of the presidential seal with the face of one of the Gupta brothers.
His comment above the cartoon was: "The Minister of Finance did not confirm or deny the fact that the Gupta brothers approached his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas for the job as Finance Minister. For those of you able to read between the lines, this means that deputy minister Jonas is the second person (after the Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula) who were approached by the Guptas for a job as Minister instead of by President Zuma. It is now clear that Zuma abdicated his job of appointing Ministers to the Guptas."
Mentor, who is currently on holiday in Thailand, referred reporters in a Facebook post to Parliament for comment on the matter.
A Gupta family spokesperson said in a statement: “Facebook is not the appropriate forum to air such a complaint, and we can only assume it is an attempt to gain personal profile and media attention. We challenge Vytjie Mentor to file an affidavit.
“South Africa has a robust constitution and a strict process governing appointment of Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
“We have every faith that if anybody tried to abuse power around appointments, they would be rebuffed by our constitution and our strong political leadership.”
The family said because the allegation was false, publishing the story would be defamatory and the family would be taking legal action.
“If you choose to publish any false and or defamatory allegations, please note that you do so at your own risk and we will take steps to protect our reputation, including issuing legal proceedings and claiming damages and legal costs, via our lawyers, Schillings.”
The family which are said to enjoy a strong relationship with President Jacob Zuma has previously been accused of offering ministerial jobs.
A Sunday paper reported that the family had offered the job of finance minister to deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas, two weeks before Nene was removed and replaced with Van Rooyen.