ANC Secretary Genral Gwede Mantashe and Gauteng party leader Paul Mashatile at the ANC's provincial policy conference. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter

Johannesburg - In the light of the damning #GuptaEmails a commission of inquiry into state capture will establish the truth, forcing those implicated to own up, African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe told delegates at the party’s Gauteng policy conference in Irene, Pretoria.

Delivering his speech in both English and Xhosa, Mantashe said admission of wrongdoing was “a shortcoming” in the ANC, but with four of its top brass implicated in the emails having confirmed their involvement with the family, the ANC was moving in the right direction.

“Up to now, four of our comrades have come out and confirmed the allegations against them in the emails… four of them. That did not happen before, we used to deny blatantly,” Mantashe told the delegates.

“At least our comrades are owning up… that is the beginning of wisdom. Something positive has come out of these emails… so with through the establishment of the inquiry we are saying we do not want to heckle people, we want to establish truth from facts, that’s it.” Mantashe did not name the four.

Those implicated in the emails include Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who reportedly helped the family to purchase Optimum Coal mine, and Communication Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, wined and dined at an exclusive hotel in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Gupta-owned Sahara Computers picked up the bill for Dlodlo, who was deputy minister of public service and administration at the time she went on the trip. She has since confirmed the trip publicly.

Also implicated is new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, who seemingly helped the Guptas acquire South African citizenship when he was home affairs minister. The family’s application for naturalisation had been turned down by the department a few month before Gigaba’s appointment, as they did not meet the requirements, according to letters released by the Economic Freedom Fighters. Gigaba arrived at home affairs and signed off their naturalisation in a letter dated December 2015. Gigaba has confirmed the authenticity of the letters, but has refuted allegations that he flouted procures by pushing through the family’s citizenship.

Mantashe said it was good when those in the ANC owned up to their deeds, as it “makes our lives easier”.

The #GuptaEmails trove, leaked to media outlets, show an intricate web of influence on the state by the politically connected Gupta family and their associates. Some of the damning information appeared in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report.

The emails trace a complex web of collusion between the state and the wealthy family, with President Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane among those implicated. Duduzane is in a business partnership with the Guptas.

The emails also revealed that the Guptas bought Zuma a R500 million home in Dubai and that he and his son Duduzane had applied for UAE citizenship. Zuma refuted the allegations and told cabinet that he does not own a home in Dubai.

Madonsela’s remedial actions in the report recommended that a commission of inquiry into state capture be established and that only a judge appointed by the chief justice head the inquiry. Zuma has since taken Madonsela’s report on judicial review.
African News Agency