Sipho Pityana of the Save South Africa movement claims that the Guptas tried to bribe and capture Black Business Council (BBC) in-order to gain the council’s support.
City Press reported that Mr Pityana made the allegation while he was responding to reports about an Oakbay Resources and Energy proposal to become a member of the Black Business Council.
It was reported that Jimmy Manyi, the head of policy at the business council tabled the proposal last month. Also, the Guptas reportedly offered R5 million and R1 million a year to the council for Oakbay Resources to become a member of BBC.
Pityana described the move as an attempt to “capture the voice of black business” and affirmed that BBC’s snubbing of the Guptas was a “small but significant step in putting a stop to the Guptas.”
Adding that BBC ought to be “commended for rejecting what can only be seen as a bribe,” Pityana argued that it’s important for BBC to remain independent.
To him, that’s the only way it can remain “a representative voice of black business rather than a captured voice.”
Thereafter, the Save South Africa condemned Manyi questioning if he was “installed into the council’s leadership as a Trojan horse for the Guptas’ interests
“Jimmy Manyi is a sellout. He usurps the noble cause of black economic empowerment to benefit shady characters like the Guptas,” Pityana asserted.
Meanwhile, BBC’s secretary-general George Sebulelo commented that the council never received a formal membership request from the Guptas.
” There are vigorous discussions on membership. This is not an individual decision, but a collective decision. It is not about money. There are certain conditions all members need to comply with.”
“We are not open for capture. We are not a mouthpiece for anybody or any organisation,” added the secretary-general.