Mantashe wants ANC members approached by Guptas to speak


African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has called on members of the ruling party, offered positions by the controversial Gupta family, to step forward.

His comments comes after Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas admitted on Wednesday that the family offered him the position of Finance Minster shortly before the controversial firing of Nhlanhla Nene in December last year, while former Portfolio Chairperson on Public Works Vytjie Mentor, claimed that President Jacob Zuma was present when the family offered her the position of Public Enterprises Minister six years ago.

A Gupta representative has however denied it ever met with Jonas, although no comment on Mentor’s claims has yet been made.

It has since also been reported that a spokesperson for Public Works and Administration Minister, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, claimed he was invited to a social at the Gupta’s upmarket Saxonworld home, but declined due to work commitments.

“The people who have stories to tell, we are welcoming them... they must come to the ANC, we will listen very carefully. We are refusing to be narrow in dealing with this matter because the threat is bigger than this one incident,” Mantashe told eNCA as.

“When you corrupt individual politicians to actually act as your proxies in the structures of the ANC, you are corrupting those ANC [politicians]. That is what develops into corporate capture, then I come to meetings of the ANC [and] I come as an agent of business interests, then I am captured”.

Earlier today, both the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Congress of the People (Cope) opened criminal charges against Zuma and the Guptas, with the former also staging a walkout from Parliament less than hour after Zuma had begun answering questions from MP’s.

In a statement, DA leader Mmusi Maimane accused the President of treating Parliament like “his very own lapdog” by refusing to admit that the family had played a role in the appointing of cabinet ministers.

“My specific question to the President was whether he consulted any person before the appointment of Mr David van Rooyen as Minister of Finance on 9 December 2015, and removal of Mr van Rooyen as Minister of Finance three days later,” Maimane said.

“The President completely avoided answering the question of whether he in fact did consult anyone, and instead quoted sections of the Constitution which empower the head of executive to appoint and dismiss cabinet ministers”.

Maimane also took a swipe at Zuma’s comments that the Rand had been on the downturn before Nene’s dismissal, describing it as “a blatant slap in the face of 8.2-million unemployed South Africans”.

“When I pressed the President on this point, I was asked by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to leave the House. This is yet another chapter in the story of the how the ANC in Parliament protects Jacob Zuma at any cost”.

According to the latest reports, the South African Communist Party (SACP) has claimed that an imminent cabinet reshuffle could be on the cards with Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, likely to be the next high ranking casualty.

“The motivation for this is connected to the Gupta family interests in acquiring a stake in Arcelor Mittal, and their concern that the Department of Trade and Industry under the leadership of Minister Davies, is setting tough pricing conditions on the sale of steel into the downstream South African manufacturing sector,” SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said in a statement.

“The SACP has called for a broad spectrum investigation into the phenomenon of corporate state capture and a judicial commission of enquiry to reveal the nature, character and extent of the problem, and to contribute on the way forward to deal decisively with the problem”.