Zuma distances himself from alleged Gupta meeting

 ·13 Apr 2016

President Jacob Zuma has distanced himself from allegations that the Gupta family offered deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jonas, the top finance position to replace then-minister Nene.

On 12 December 2015, president Jacob Zuma announced a surprise shuffle in his cabinet, firing Nhlanhla Nene as the country’s finance minister.

Mcebisi Jonas claimed in a statement in March that the Gupta family offered him the role of finance minister – which he said he outright rejected.

The deputy minister said at the time that he hesitated to speak out publicly on matter, but felt it was no longer possible to remain quiet.

In a written response to DA MP David Maynier’s questions, published on Tuesday 12 April), Zuma said: “I am unaware of such a meeting taking place except for the public statement that was recently made by the deputy minister of finance.”

A Gupta family spokesperson told News24  in March that Jonas’ allegations “are just more political point scoring between rival factions within the ANC.”

“To be clear: any suggestion that the Gupta family or any of our representatives or associates have offered anyone a job in government is totally false,” the spokesperson said.

“We challenge Minister Jonas to provide a full account of the supposed meeting that took place, under oath, in a court of law. Minister Jonas is attempting to cover up and divert attention away from his own relationships and practices. We are confident questions about his own ethical standards will be exposed.”

The family have since left South Africa, allegedly for Dubai, having resigned all their their directorships in the country.

More on the Gupta family

Guptas respond to Jonas ‘state capture’ revelations

“Guptas did offer me the job of Finance Minister”: Jonas

Guptas have not ‘fled’ South Africa: Oakbay CEO

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