DA lays charges against Guptas, says SA did not vote for them
Thulani Gqirana, News24
Cape Town – The South African public did not vote for the Gupta family, nor did they elect them in any public forum, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Thursday.
The party laid corruption charges against the controversial family at the Cape Town police station on Thursday, following an admission by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas that they had offered him the top job at the ministry.
The charges were opened by Maimane and Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier.
Maimane said it was quite clear that there was undue influence being exerted by the Guptas, a family with close ties to President Jacob Zuma.
He said South Africans had entrusted Parliament and elected representatives, not the Guptas, with decision making.
"Therefore it is quite criminal that the president feels it quite appropriate for him to go out of his way to allow the Guptas to make those appointments. It’s a betrayal of our democratic processes," he said.
Maynier said the deputy minister should have reported the Guptas when they made the offer.
"In terms of the prevention and combating of corruption act, there is an onus on any person who is aware of the contravention of the act, a duty to report that. So there was an obligation on the deputy minister to have reported the offer. Why he did not is a question he will have to answer."
The Gupta family has denied all allegations, and challenged Jonas to provide proof of the meeting.
Maimane questioned whether more ministers had been appointed by the Guptas at their house, rather than at Union Buildings.
"Just because one has spoken, does not mean it could be narrowed to him. It could be more."
The Congress of the People also opened a case against the Guptas and Zuma on Thursday.
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor claimed on Facebook this week that the Guptas had also previously offered her a Cabinet position.
She wrote: "But they had previously asked me to become Minister of Public Enterprises when Barbara Hogan got the chop, provided that I would drop the SAA flight-route to India and give it to them.
"I refused and so I was never made a Minister. The President was in another room when they offered me this in Saxonworld. [sic]"
Despite her allegation, Zuma has claimed that he had "no recollection of Ms Mentor and is not aware of the alleged incidents in her career".