NEWS

The plot thickens as more Minister’s confess on Gupta’s influence!

mcebisi J
In happier times. SARS boss Dan Moyane (left) ex Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas.

This comes amid his revelations on Wednesday that he was approached by the Gupta family and offered the position before the axing of the then minister Nhlanhla Nene in December last year.

Party sources said Jonas could be “promoted” to minister‚ possibly trade and industry.

He would make way for parliamentary novice Sfiso Buthelezi‚ who was quietly sworn in as an ANC MP early this month.

As Deputy Finance Minister‚ Jonas oversees the Public Investment Corporation‚ which handles more than R1.8-trillion in assets.
The comment by Jonas about the Gupta’s places President Jacob Zuma in an awkward position ahead of a crucial African National Congress national executive committee (NEC) meeting this weekend.

But Jonas appears to have political support.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe welcomed his frank admission‚ saying this was about a business developing into an “oligarch“.

“If oligarchs cannot be disciplined by the state‚ they discipline the state. We are going to develop into a mafia state where all what the state will be doing is to nurse interests of family businesses‚” he said.

Mantashe said when the ANC at its January lekgotla raised the danger of state capture‚ it was accused of embarking on a witch hunt.

The party was now “heartened” that people were bold enough to come forward and encouraged others to do the same.

The ANC’s top brass had previously met the Gupta family and asked them to explain the allegations around their influence on the government and on state-owned entities such as Eskom.

A report on this meeting is to be presented to the ANC’s national executive committee.

Meanwhile, Cabinet minister Ngoako Ramathlodi was also invited to the home of the Gupta family, his advisor said on Thursday.

“We did receive an invite as soon as the minister was appointed but he told them he was not taking any invites because his focus was to resolve the platinum strike,” Ramathlodi’s aide Mahlodi Muofhe said.

Ramathlodi also told the news agency that the influence of the Gupta family would be a very serious issue to be discussed at a meeting of the ruling African National Congress this weekend.

Additional reporting: Sydney Morweng- News Editor.

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