The politically-connected Gupta family on Tuesday said it would co-operate with an investigation by the office of the ANC’s secretary general into allegations that it was influencing Cabinet appointments.
“The Gupta family welcomes the decision of the ANC to investigate the alleged capture of the state by any business entities,” they said in a statement sent by Oakbay Investments, the holding company for the family’s businesses in South Africa.
“We welcome this process which should ultimately allow the truth to be recognised and end this current trial by innuendo and slander. We will fully co-operate with the office of the secretary general during the information gathering process.”
The family said it would be inappropriate for it to comment further until the findings were published.
Earlier, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the party and the Guptas had agreed that an urgent meeting was needed following the allegations. A date for the meeting had not yet been confirmed.
The NEC met in Pretoria at the weekend, where allegations that the Guptas had offered Cabinet positions to party officials were discussed. This followed a turbulent week for the governing party.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Sunday said the NEC had instructed officials and the national working committee to gather all pertinent information about the allegations.
Revelations by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former MP Vytjie Mentor that they had been offered Cabinet positions by the Gupta family saw the public and some party members calling on the NEC to take action.
The Sunday Times reported that former government communication and information system head Themba Maseko was called by Zuma, prior to a meeting with the Guptas in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, and asked to “help them”.
At the meeting, it is alleged that Ajay Gupta wanted government advertising to be channelled to The New Age newspaper. It is alleged that Gupta told Maseko: “I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.”
Mantashe said the issue was being taken seriously and called on those with evidence to come forward.
The Gupta family have denied the allegations and have called on those who make them to provide proof.[Source: News24]