By Genevieve Quintal, News24
The ANC and Guptas have agreed that an urgent meeting is needed following allegations that the politically connected family was influencing Cabinet appointments.
“We are still waiting for confirmation, but… both sides have agreed that we need to meet urgently, perhaps before the end of the week,” ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.
The ANC’s top officials met with the family last month, but this was to do with their acquisition of the Glencore mine by the family’s Tegeta Exploration & Resources, and other allegations.
“Now that there are new fresh allegations that were made, and the NEC [national executive committee] having raised a number of concerns, we thought it was also important to firstly make a follow-up on the first meeting, but equally to further raise the concerns of the NEC, including how both the News Age and ANN7 carried some reports about the NEC,” he said.
The ANC’s national executive committee met in Pretoria at the weekend, where allegations that the Guptas had offered Cabinet positions to party officials were discussed. This followed a turbulent week for the governing party.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Sunday said the NEC had instructed officials and the national working committee to gather all pertinent information about the allegations.
Revelations by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former MP Vytjie Mentor that they had been offered Cabinet positions by the Gupta family saw the public and some party members calling on the NEC to take action. The Sunday Times reported that former Government Communication and Information System head Themba Maseko was called by Zuma, prior to a meeting with the Guptas in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, and asked to “help them”.
At the meeting, it is alleged that Ajay Gupta wanted government advertising to be channelled to The New Age newspaper. It is alleged that Gupta told Maseko: “I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.”
Mantashe said the issue was being taken seriously and called on those with evidence to come forward. The NEC also condemned the Gupta-owned media outlets, ANN7 and The New Age, for their coverage of the party.
“The NEC expressed its utmost disgust at the arrogance, disrespect and reckless journalism displayed by the New Age newspaper [March 18, 19 2016], ANN7 news channel [March 16-18 2016] and representatives of the Gupta-family,” Mantashe said.
“They have characterised the ANC as a group of factions for and against President [Jacob] Zuma.”
The New Age and ANN7 reported about an alleged plot involving high level ANC members to topple President Jacob Zuma.