The fact that Cabinet minister Des van Rooyen may have more to hide could have an influence on his attempt to block the release of outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report into “state capture”.
According to a BBC report, secret cellphone records place Van Rooyen at the Gupta home the evening before President Jacob Zuma sacked finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.
According to a BBC source, the cellphone records are evidence that the Gupta family, known to be close to Zuma, had undue influence on the selection of Cabinet members.
Van Rooyen on Friday filed an urgent interdict to block the Public Protector from releasing its interim report into state capture, citing that he had not been given enough time to respond to “adverse findings”.
A number of high profile politicians have accused the Gupta family of having a direct hand in state power and institutions.
ANC MP Vytjie Mentor challenged Zuma to a debate on state capture and accused the president of using “tactics” to delay investigations.
“I am not scared of you, of your lies, your tricks, your delaying tactics, your attempted intimidation, your harassment, and what you normally do to people,” Mentor said recently.
Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas also confirmed that the Gupta family had offered him the position of finance minister.
“Members of the Gupta family offered me the position of Minister of Finance to replace then-Minister Nene. I rejected this out of hand,” Jonas said in a statement.
“The basis of my rejection of their offer is that it makes a mockery of our hard earned democracy, the trust of our people and no one apart from the President of the Republic appoints ministers. Let me also place it on record that there was no discussion between the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC Ms Jessie Duarte and myself on this matter.”
Madonsela’s office has indicated that the report will not be released on Friday.[Source: News24]