Buzzsouthafrica has gathered that London-based daily Financial Times has made a startling allegation in one of its articles.
As culled from the said publication, correspondent Andrew England reported that two weeks before President Zuma fired Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in December, the Gupta family met with Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas, at the family’s home in Saxonwold, to ask whether he was “interested in the Treasury’s top post”.
As reported by Daily Maverick, the influential publication greeted Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan immediately he landed in London this week on the first leg of his investment roadshow to foreign investors and credit agencies.
On the other hand, stories trailing the allegation reveal that the Gupta family vehemently denied the claim, when correspondent England approached the heavily connected family.
While the Treasury and the Deputy Minister’s office “declined to comment, neither denying nor confirming the existence of the meeting.”
The publication also quoted the Gupta family spokesman saying “There have been an extraordinary number of allegations around the Gupta family in recent weeks, several of which have involved the finance ministry. To be absolutely clear: there was no meeting at all.”
Meanwhile, speaking in a statement, DA finance spokesman David Maynier, urged deputy minister Jonas to make a public statement on the reported meeting in late November with the Gupta family.
“The deputy minister’s best move would be to make a public statement, rather than zig-zagging his way around the hard questions.
“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, Maynier said.
Many South Africans have been calling for the exit of the influential Indian-South African family from the country. The call was strengthened lately by EFF’s Julius Malema when he intimated the family’s workers.
Taking a pragmatic look at it, if this report by Financial Times is actually true, it then clearly indicates that the Gupta family has intimate knowledge of the comings and goings of Ministers in South Africa.
And might even have the power to choose who becomes minister in the state since many believe the family has a very strong tie with president Zuma.
We will recall that in a latest interview with the Financial Times, both president Zuma and Ajay Gupta have defended their relationship, denying the family had any influence over politics or had benefited unduly from their relations.
“We are business people and we have nothing to do with politics,” said Gupta, in a rare interview
In South Africa, little known Van Rooyen’s appointment as Minister of Finance would remain evergreen because his ‘quickie’ appointment sent financial chaos and shockwaves across the country which later resulted in the tanking of the Rand.