Billionaire Johann Rupert has reportedly threatened legal action against president Jacob Zuma’s son Edward, over claims he “captured” South Africa’s judiciary and is trying to remove his father from office.
According to a report in the Sunday Times, Rupert has called on the president to distance himself from Edward Zuma’s claims, otherwise it would suggest he agreed with the claims of capture.
In a statement on Friday, Edward Zuma claimed that Rupert is “the master” behind a decision by the country’s major banks to cut business ties with companies linked to Zuma associates, the Guptas.
Zuma also alleged that former finance minister Trevor Manuel and Absa CEO Maria Ramos, are part of this “plot”.
“Let it be known that Rupert has gone as far as capturing the judiciary of this country to ensure President Zuma’s removal from office through courts,” said Zuma in a statement.
“I don’t even know the Guptas. All I do is employ people and bring money into the country. I have nothing to do with the banks’ decisions about the Guptas,” Rupert told the Sunday Times.
“I wonder whether the president shares his son’s beliefs. That would be a problem. If he does not disagree with his son, it is cause for concern. If he keeps quiet, it has certain implications.
“I wish to state openly that I have nothing to do with the Guptas and that the president appoints the judges, not I. The nonsense Edward Zuma persists in talking does not bother me insofar as it concerns me. But it has implications for our country’s foreign standing, for future investments and for the rule of law. Therefore, if this continues, at some stage I shall have to take legal action,” said Rupert.
“It is important to state that I have no quarrel with the president. But he initiates quarrels with me. Earlier this year he [Jacob Zuma] claimed I had recently met with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa – a complete untruth. Why he does that, only he knows.”
“Tell him to proceed and make my day. Sue me or not, the master is guilty,” Edward Zuma told the Sunday paper.
Standard Bank, FNB, Absa and Nedbank, as well as accounting firm KPMG and sponsor Sasfin Capital, recently ended their business relations with Gupta-owned businesses, following damning claims of “state capture” from senior government officials.
The full article can read in the 22 May 2016 edition of the Sunday Times.