Deputy Minister must speak-up on alleged meeting with Guptas – EFF & DA

BY CHARL BOSCH - MARCH 11, 2016

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Democratic Alliance (DA) have lashed at claims that the government connected Gupta family had offered Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas, the lead position of National Treasury before the shock dismissal of Nhlanhla Nene in December last year.

According to reports, the family held talks with Jonas two weeks before Nene was dismissed by President Jacob Zuma, as to whether he would be interested “in the top post". Jonas reportedly declined the offer.

Zuma eventually appointed little-known ANC MP David van Rooyen, but backtracked four days later in swapping him for then Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan, after a severe backlash from opposition parties and citizens resulted in the Rand falling to lowest level against the US Dollar.

“It is imperative that the Deputy Minister breaks his silence and makes an urgent public statement clarifying whether he met members of the Gupta family and discussed the top post at the National Treasury, and whether he was offered a financial inducement by members of the Gupta family,” DA Shadow Minister of Finance David Maynier said in a statement.

“The Deputy Minister’s best move would be to make a public statement, rather than zig-zagging his way around the hard questions”.

In a strongly worded reaction, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said it is well-known fact the family are in control in of the country’s finances on Zuma’s behalf, before alleging that they were in process of moving their assets, worth R2-billion, to Dubai.

“According to the rules regarding transfer of capital, there is a levy of 10% on all monies moved out of South Africa. In case of the Guptas, this will amount to more than R200 million, as 10% of the R2-billion the Guptas have already moved to Dubai,” Ndlozi said.

“However, by exploiting their close relationships to President Zuma, the Guptas have managed to move R2-billion without paying a cent of levies. The 10% levies waived and it is not clear for what reason”.

He said the party were also aware of the close relationship between the family and Zuma’s son Duduzane, adding that the President was using his son to benefit himself with the assistance of the Guptas.

“All corrupt presidents all over the world use their children to do business, and that is exactly what Jacob Zuma is doing,” Ndlozi said.

“We warn the Guptas to respect the sovereignty and financial regulation of South Africa, and not treat our country like it’s a lawless nation”.

A spokesperson for the family's Oakbay Investment firm, has since denied it ever met with Jonas to discuss the position.

 

IMAGE sourced from uchaguzi.co.ke