I condemn the Guptas - KZN politician

2016-03-24 10:15
Atul Gupta (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Atul Gupta (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Pietermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal Public Works MEC Ravi Pillay intends to resist the influence of the Guptas, he has told the provincial legislature.

“I refuse to be defined by the Guptas. I condemn them and we will do everything we can to resist what they stand for,” Pillay said to applause from the ruling party benches during a debate on racism on Wednesday.

As Pillay spoke, opposition party members taunted him and his ruling party colleagues and accused them of being under the influence of the Gupta family.

He said the ANC was the only party capable of dealing with racism. He accused the DA of harbouring racists and failing to attend a Human Rights Day event on Monday, which he said amounted to snubbing the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa.

In the past week, several senior ANC members have accused the family of offering them Cabinet positions in return for business favours.

Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said the Guptas offered him the job of finance minister shortly before Nhlanhla Nene was sacked.

During a visit to Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, Jonas pleaded with South Africans to fight the scourge of “state capture by few companies”. Addressing a meeting organised by an auditing firm, Jonas challenged South Africans to be blunt and open about the influence some companies had on government.

During Wednesday’s debate, Pillay accused the DA of attempting “to steal our icons”, by trying to lay claim to former president Nelson Mandela.

In response, the DA’s Francois Rodgers accused the ruling party of using race to garner votes ahead of this year’s local government elections.

“The fact is opportunistic racism perpetuates inherent racism and is now being used by the governing party to get votes in the elections,” said Rodgers.

Other parties accused both the ANC and DA of turning a serious issue into a game of politics.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  gupta family  |  pietermaritzburg  |  politics

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