Mantashe: Zuma doesn't have to explain

2013-05-20 14:16
Jacob Zuma (Picture: AP)

Jacob Zuma (Picture: AP)

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ANC NEC addresses Guptagate

2013-05-20 15:32

ANC spokesperson Gwede Mantashe said the ruling party's National Executive Committee was satisfied with the report they received on the Gupta scandal. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma does not have to explain his ties to the Gupta family to the ANC, its secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.

"Did the president take us into his confidence about the relationship between [him] and the Gupta family? I'm not sure if that is necessary," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"It is not the business of the NEC [national executive committee] who I relate to in my personal capacity. The question is whether the relationship impacted on the behaviour of the family?"

He said the NEC had welcomed the report of the directors-general appointed to probe the unauthorised landing of a private jet chartered by the Guptas at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

"The NEC agreed to wait for the report of the DGs as commissioned by the ministers in the security cluster... The [ANC] welcomes the outcome of the investigation. We appreciate [the] details contained in the report and clarity given," he said.

"It provides the basic information on what happened. This will help the parliamentary debate on Wednesday. We are confident that the relevant ministers will take the process to its logical conclusion so that this incident does not repeat itself."

Controversial landing

The plane landed at the base last month. It was carrying 270 guests attending the wedding of Vega Gupta and Indian-born Aakash Jahajgarhia at Sun City, in North West.

The use of the base sparked widespread criticism. Government launched an investigation into a possible breach of diplomatic protocol.

On Sunday, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said Zuma and his Cabinet had no involvement in the landing.

Radebe said one of the findings of the investigation was that the landing was a direct result of manipulation of processes.

He said names had been "dropped", including those of Zuma, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and Transport Minister Ben Martins.

Mantashe confirmed that he had been invited to the wedding. He also denied that there was a conflict between himself and Zuma because of the landing.

"I work with the president of the ANC every day, but I read in the newspapers that there is a fall-out," he said.

Report back

Mantashe said the situation had not divided the ANC, but had rather united it.

The opposition had created the perception that anything coming from government could not be trusted.

"If they [the DGs] said the president did not have anything to do with it, immediately many South Africans walk away and say ‘cover-up, cover-up’. So facts don't matter, perceptions matter," Mantashe said.

"South Africans are impatient to wait on how that report is going to be processed to its conclusion, because they have a particular outcome that they want."

He said this would increasingly happen in the run-up to next year's elections. "People see everything and want to make it a point in elections," Mantashe said.

"The ANC is quite aware of that and actually between now and the elections more and more dirt is going to be dug-up on every one of the ANC leaders."

He said the "dirt" could be false, or could be certain information taken out of context.

Read more on:    nec  |  anc  |  jeff radebe  |  ben martins  |  nosiviwe mapisa-nqakula  |  vega gupta  |  johannesburg  |  gupta wedding  |  politics

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