In the midst of countless allegations that suggest the Gupta family has some influence in the appointment of ministers by President Jacob Zuma, the African National Congress (ANC) said such allegations undermine the authority of the governing party and does not represent the political views of the party.
In a statement released by ANC, the party maintained that the power to appoint or dismiss cabinet ministers lies only with the president in consultaton with its officials.
The alleged influence of the Guptas on the decisions of the government will take priority on the agenda of an ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this weekend.
The national officials will present their report following a meeting with the Gupta family and Zuma’s son Duduzane.
The Spokesperson of the ANC Zizi Kodwa says the party can no longer ignore the wide-spread public perception of the Gupta-Zuma relationship.
“If there’s growing perception that there are certain individuals, including the Gupta family that influences an appointment, the ANC must act on that. We can’t leave it as a perception.”
Nevertheless, former ANC Member of Parliament (MP) Vytjie Mentor who made claims on Facebook that the Guptas offered her a ministerial job in exchange for a business decision that will favour them says she stands by her claim.
She claimed that the Guptas offered her the position of minister of public enterprises in 2010 while Zuma was in the other room at the family’s Saxonwold home. She rejected this offer and that was how she never got any ministerial post.
Mentor who intends to elaborate on the influence of the Guptas on Zuma, says she had worked closely with President Zuma before he even became the Head of State which makes it hard to believe that he does not recall who she is. Apparently, Zuma has said he does not recall any encounter with Mentor.
Kodwa says the party is yet to confirm the claims with Mentor and cannot ignore the fact that she hid this for so long and suddenly decided to expose it now.
“We have not been able to confirm anything with Vytjie Mentor. We wonder why she would have allowed and lived with that allegation for so long. But we leave that conspiracy aside. That she comes with it now is part of the issues that we cannot ignore.”
The Guptas have also denied such encounter with Mentor dismissing such claims as mere “gossip.”