Cape Town - Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has detailed the instances where he declined requests to meet the controversial Gupta family, including at their Sun City wedding.
This emerged on Monday in a written reply to a parliamentary question from the DA’s Michael Bagraim who had wanted to know whether Patel was influenced by any person and/or influenced any of his department’s employees to do favours for the Guptas or their close associates.
He had also inquired whether the minister attended any meeting where Guptas or their associates were present.
In his reply, Patel said members of the Gupta family were present at public or official functions or meetings that he attended, and as with other attendees, engaged with him at the events between 2009 and 2014. He also said there were occasions where invitations or requests were directed at or received by him or by his office for bilateral meetings with members of the Gupta family.
“In approximately late 2011, my office received a request from a member of the Gupta family to meet with me. As no information was provided to warrant a meeting with me, I declined the request and directed my office to refer them to meet with one of my officials instead, as is standard practice,” Patel said. “They did not take up the offer and no further effort was made by them subsequently to follow up on this request.”