Ajay and Atul Gupta File photo
Johannesburg – Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina appealed to the controversial Gupta family to allow the governing African National Congress (ANC) to do its work and refrain from interfering in the ANC-led government.

Masina was addressing delegates at the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) fifth elective conference held in Boksburg.

"Comrade President [Jacob Zuma], let's request the Guptas to give the ANC space to conduct the revolution. We do not mean to choose friends for leaders of the ANC, but there is a limit to everything," said Masina. 

"People died in the ANC and for this country...we cannot surrender the sovereignty of the ANC and the revolution in this particular process. We want to also appeal to deployed cadres in the ANC to assist as we go through this difficult period...we know that you have friends in higher places, but all of us are required to be disciplined to ensure that we rebuild the ANC."

He added that the younger generation in the governing party do not want to inherit a "disorganised ANC".

The wealthy Gupta family, who enjoy close ties to Zuma and his son Duduzane, were at the centre of state capture allegations first detailed in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's 'State of Capture' report released last year.

This was followed by various media reports, including #GuptaEmails a trove of correspondence released by whistle-blowers that traces a complex web of collusion between the state and the family.

The emails also revealed that the Guptas bought Zuma a R500 million home in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and that Zuma and his son Duduzane have applied for UAE citizenship. Zuma refuted the allegations, and told Cabinet that he does not own a home in Dubai.

Masina said the ANC should use its conferences, including the upcoming elective conference in December, to reflect on its mistakes and weaknesses.

"It is in these conferences that we must honestly work and fix our weaknesses. At this historic moment for our movement, the country faces deep inequality, unemployment and poverty."

Zuma and other national executive committee members such as Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu and Rural and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwiti attended the first day of the conference.