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'State capture' by Guptas is nothing new - SACP

Durban – The SACP in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday labelled the influence of the Gupta family in South Africa as "nothing new".

The politically-connected family has made headlines in recent weeks after being accused of offering senior officials key government positions in return for favourable business influence.

Reporting back on its provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting, which was held earlier this week, SACP provincial secretary Themba Mthembu said the country was caught between "two wings of the capitalist class in a declining economy".

He said, following the overthrow of apartheid, the dominating capitalist class created a network of corruption "in order to co-opt leading figures in the liberation movement".

Because established capitalists were in charge of the "commanding heights" of the economy, the only avenue for emerging business was to use the influence of esteemed political figures to gain favour for tenders and government contracts.

"There is nothing new about the so-called 'state capture' by the Guptas. South African capitalists have long ago 'captured' the state."

Mthembu added that the PEC supported the call by the national leadership for an inquiry into corporate capture.

Last week, former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor broke her silence, using Facebook to reveal that the influential family had offered her a top ministerial position, which she turned down.

Soon afterward, Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas also confirmed that the Guptas had offered him former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene's job.

Themba Maseko, the former head of the Government Communication and Information System, is the latest person to come forward.

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