Makhosi Khoza: Rob Davies must resign for meeting with the Guptas

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Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies must resign for admitting to meeting with the Guptas, according to Dr Makhosi Khoza. However, his spokesperson responded saying that the minister has since 2016 never denied meeting with the controversial family.

Khoza expressed her view on Davies in a tweet on Tuesday.

"Rob Davies must resign. He fired the SABS CEO on allegations that she met with the Guptas. In the meantime, he is the one that met with Guptas," tweeted Khoza, executive director: local government at the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA).

SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) CEO Boni Mehlomakulu resigned in August this year. Business Day reported at the time that Mehlomakulu said she resigned "under duress" after losing a court battle against her parent ministry, the Department of Trade and Industry.

Khoza told Fin24 on Tuesday evening that her call for Davies to resign comes as a matter of principle. She said the "most honourable thing" for Davies to do would be to resign. She added that she is tired of seeing women so easily 'become targets' and be "thrown under the bus" when this does not always happen when men say or do the same thing.

"I also went through the same thing, being 'punished' by the ANC," said Khoza.

Fin24 reported on Monday that Davies said he accepted social invitations from members of the Gupta family. In a written reply to questions from the DA Davies clarified that, even though he met with members of the Gupta family in the past, he had not taken any official administrative action on their behalf.

Davies said in his written reply that he met with members of the Gupta family for social purposes - maybe five or six times - when he accepted invitations to social events organised by members of the Gupta family.

"My consistent message on all such occasions (and in all interactions with members of the Gupta family) was that requests for access to any programme or facility should be directed to the department or agency concerned following the prescribed procedure and would be decided on by officials charged with assessing such applications according to defined criteria. In the event no follow up meetings were requested or held," Davies emphasised.

Davies also attended the infamous Gupta wedding at Sun City, which was allegedly funded through monies intended for the Vrede Dairy project.

Davies added that he had made this information available to Madonsela for her State of Capture report and that he is prepared to appear before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Sidwell Medupe, spokesperson of the Department of Trade and Industry, told Fin24 on Tuesday evening that Davies has never denied that he met with the Guptas, since 2016 when DA leader Mmusi Maimane asked the question.

"The minister has been consistent. Also, the same information was provided to the former public protector as she was preparing her State Capture report. Minister Davies has also indicated his willingness to interact with the Zondo Commission or its investigators in any way they see fit," said Medupe.

Medupe also commented that the SABS CEO was not fired because of her meeting with the Guptas.

"As a department we are not aware that she met the Guptas," he said.

Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene had subsequently resigned following revelations before the commission that he had met with the Guptas.

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