18/03/2016. Members of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe (Secretary General), Baleka Mbete (Chairperson), ANC President Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa (ANC Deputy Presidenta0 ) seen during an ANC NEC meeting held at Saint Georges Hotel
18/03/2016. Members of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe (Secretary General), Baleka Mbete (Chairperson), ANC President Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa (ANC Deputy Presidenta0 ) seen during an ANC NEC meeting held at Saint Georges Hotel

#ANCNEC ‘won't be pushed on Guptas’

By MOGOMOTSI MAGOME And THABISO THAKALI Time of article published Mar 19, 2016

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Pretoria - The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) will not be pressured by people outside the party into dealing in a specific way with the question of the controversial Gupta family’s “state capture”.

The issue is not on the official agenda for the NEC’s meeting.

However, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said it would be raised during discussion of the items on the agenda.

These were the economy and the local government elections.

The urgency and importance of discussing the issue follows startling revelations by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas that he had been offered the job of finance minister by members of the Gupta family before the firing of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene last year.

This followed similar claims by former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, who said she had been offered the job of public enterprises minister by the Guptas before the reshuffling of the former minister, Barbara Hogan.

Hogan has said she was placed under tremendous pressure to meet Gupta-linked airline Jet Airway’s management, while Public Service Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi also confirmed this week he had declined an invitation to the Gupta home after he was appointed mining minister.

However, Mantashe said the NEC would not be pressured from the outside over the Gupta matter.

“It’s not about the NEC working because of who is loudest when it doesn’t work that way. It works in terms of the constitution and executes its work in terms of what is expected of it in terms of the constitution of the ANC.

“That issue will come if it comes in the debate. There is no stand-alone item in the agenda of the NEC about all those issues. We are dealing with the economy as an item on the agenda. Everything else falling within that issue will be debated in that item,” said Mantashe

A statement by the SACP on Thursday, in which they claimed there was an imminent Cabinet reshuffle that targeted Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, has set the scene for a potentially explosive debate on the Guptas’ proximity to President Jacob Zuma.

The SACP claimed the said reshuffle was “inspired by the Guptas”, and have been among the most vocal of the ANC’s alliance partners about the influence of the Gupta family on government and its state-owned enterprises.

Zuma arrived late for the meeting as he was addressing a campaign rally of the Congress of SA Students (Cosas) in Orlando, Soweto.

Zuma sidestepped the political storm around the Guptas when addressing the pupils.

But it became clear yesterday amid the latest controversy that he was not leaving anything to chance.

Before his arrival at the gathering, security combed every inch of the venue, including setting up groups of pupils to look out for their peers in case they brought awkward placards or banners.

But Cosas expressed its support for the president.

“All those who are trying to make the president look otherwise will face the might of students,” said Cosas president Zama Khanyaze.

Pretoria News Weekend

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