Zuma-Gupta scandal must be probed - Corruption Watch

Cape Town – The ongoing controversy between President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family is a betrayal of South Africans' trust, Corruption Watch said on Thursday.

The organisation called for an immediate investigation into allegations that the Gupta family had offered Cabinet posts to various ANC members.

This was after Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas on Wednesday confirmed that the Gupta family, known for their close ties with Zuma, had offered him the finance ministry post, and that he had declined.

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor claimed on Facebook this week that the Guptas had also offered her the job of public enterprises minister when Barbara Hogan was removed from the position. She claimed Zuma was in another room at the Gupta's Saxonwold home at the time. 

Zuma has said he has no "recollection" of Mentor. The presidency is yet to release a statement on Jonas. 

Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis said the allegations contravened anti-corruption legislation and should be investigated.

"However, it is equally clear that the core of the problem is not be found in the Saxonwold compound of the Guptas, but rather in the president’s office in the Union Buildings."

He said the court of public opinion had passed judgement.

"The trust of the South African public has been grievously betrayed," he said.

Meanwhile, Equal Education said they regarded the "state capture" of South Africa as nothing less than a mortal threat to democracy.

"And the masses will not forever defend a democracy that abandons them in poverty. Without a radical social justice policy there is no hope of mobilising the social force needed to defeat state capture and return the state to the people."

The organisation called for the Gupta family to be jailed for decades.

"State capture is not tenderpreneurship. We are far beyond that. A tenderpreneur bribes a party or government official to land a state contract. But this is an order of magnitude different [from that]."

Zuma will on Thursday answer questions in the National Assembly about whether he was influenced when making the decisions to change finance ministers in December.

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