South Africans hate the Guptas because they are Indian - MKMVA

2017-06-19 21:57
MKMVA officials briefing the media at Luthuli House. ( Tshidi Madia/News24)

MKMVA officials briefing the media at Luthuli House. ( Tshidi Madia/News24)

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Johannesburg – South Africans only have an issue with the Gupta family because of their Indian origins, says the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association.

The MKMVA also said the Guptas were just a side issue in a myriad of state capture claims, stretching as far back as 1948 when apartheid was formally established as a system in the country.

The association held a media briefing on Monday at the ANC's Luthuli House headquarters. This comes after the association's 5th national congress where both Kebby Maphatsoe and Des Van Rooyen retained their positions as top leaders in the MKMVA.

On Monday, newly-elected secretary general Wiseman Ntombela took a stand when journalists asked about the Guptas, claiming that the issue South Africans had with the family was because of their Indian origin.

"The Guptas are South Africans like everybody who came into South Africa and got the citizenship. They are running their business like other South Africans," said Ntombela.

He accused some people in the country of having an apartheid-era mentality, preferring white people over their Indian counterparts.

The association has been defending the family, which is said to have close links to President Jacob Zuma. The Guptas have been accused of having undue influence over some of Zuma's decisions, and in state-owned enterprises.

"I saw it in Brazil. Each time you are a foreigner, you own business, you employ people, the nationals of that country are afraid of competition, or maybe they feel the stiffness of the competition, then they come against you. The Guptas [are] facing that problem now," Ntombela said.

'We don’t want to be deviated'

Maphatsoe said the Guptas were a side issue. He repeated a call he had made previously that an inquiry into state capture should not only focus on the Gupta family.

"Let’s make sure that it covers all that happened from 1948 up to now. We don’t want to be deviated by these people, saying 'Gupta Gupta'. They want to move us from our focus on dealing with the issue of state capture," said Maphatsoe.

One of the prominent faces at the MKMVA briefing was one of its new national executive committee members, Carl Niehaus. The former spokesperson for the ANC and Nelson Mandela had disappeared from the public eye for some time following an admission of fraud.

Since his return, he has taken on a communications role, sending out media statements for the MKMVA. Speaking on his behalf, the association’s president said no one was perfect in the party, and that there were corrective measures implemented - as opposed to punishment - for those who made mistakes in the 105-year-old liberation movement.

"We are not going to allow our enemies to destroy our own comrades. Should someone commit a mistake, that person is corrected by the ANC," said Maphatsoe.

Read more on:    mkmva  |  gupta family  |  johannesburg  |  gupta emails  |  gupta leaks

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