Sisulu denies EFF’s Gupta involvement claims in alleged plane leasing dispute


Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has reportedly rubbished accusations by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Deputy President Floyd Shivambu, that she was demoted from the Defence and Military Veterans Portfolio for refusing to award an aeroplane leasing tender to the controversial Gupta family.

In an interview with Gauteng radio station Power FM on Monday, Shivambu claimed Sisulu rejected the family’s application to sell a plane to the South African National Force (SANDF) for R4-billion, as cheaper options were already available.

“They [Guptas] appoint ministers not for developmental purpose but for self-enrichment. If they deny this, they must take us to court and we will expose everything,” Shivambu said.

The government connected family come renewed criticism this past weekend after former Government Communications head, Themba Maseko, told the Sunday Times that President Jacob Zuma instructed that he must arrange a meeting with them at their home in Saxonworld.

He then stated that the meeting focused on the channeling of government advertising through the soon-to-launched New Age newspaper, and that Aguy Gupta threatened him a few weeks ago later when he refused to attend the paper’s launch.

“[Aguy] said: 'I am ordering you to meet tomorrow.' I said he must go and f**k himself. I told him that there were ANC leaders who owned media companies and they never behaved like that or gave me such instructions. He said: 'I will talk to your seniors in government and you will be sorted out. We will replace you with people who will co-operate,” Maseko said.

A spokesperson for the family’s Oakbay Investment firm, Nazeem Howa, however denied Maseko’s claims, which came days after Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas admitted in a statement that he was offered the position of Finance Minister before the controversial sacking of Nhlanhla Nene in December last year.