Politics / 7 October 2018, 08:39am / Samkelo Mtshali
Durban - EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu says the party is willing to accept Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s apology for lying about his interactions with the Gupta family - on condition he resigns.
Shivambu told more than 800 delegates at the party’s second KwaZulu-Natal Provincial People’s Assembly in Pietermaritzburg that Nene visited Ajay Gupta more than six times at the family’s Saxonwold compound, proving he was friends with the Guptas.
He said the man at the helm of the National Treasury should disclose all the dealings he had with the “Gupta criminal syndicate”.
He said Nene, who last week appeared before the Inquiry into State Capture headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, made the Guptas’ compound his second home.
He said as soon as former president Jacob Zuma was elected in 2009, the Guptas had total control of him and eventually went on to constitute the majority of Zuma’s cabinet by 2014.
“They are the ones who went to Zuma to say ‘this Nhlanhla Nene is amenable to our interests let us make him the minister of finance because once he is there we’re going to eat even more, easily,” said Shivambu.
He said when Nene was appointed finance minister by Zuma in May 2014, the minister stopped his interactions with the Guptas and “acted as if he’s powerful and he doesn’t want to report to those people who appointed him as minister of finance”.
“They (the Guptas) cautioned him (Nene) they would fire him because they hired him and he still thought that was nothing.
“Then they went to his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas at the time, to say Nene was no longer co-operating and wanted to make him the minister instead,” Shivambu said.
He said that was followed by the R600million bribe the Guptas allegedly made to Jonas, which was declined, before they approached Des van Rooyen, who “immediately co-operated”, before being taken on “seven days of induction on corruption”.
“They were inducting him on how to be corrupt, how to take key institutions and hand them over to them.”
Shivambu said that the Guptas had “a clear grand plan on sabotaging South Africa” through capturing National Treasury.
In a statement following his appearance before the inquiry, Nene wrote an apology to South Africans for his interactions with the Guptas, saying part of his duty as an office bearer was to meet fellow South Africans and other stakeholders when they requested.
“However, I was wrong in meeting the Guptas at their residence and not in my office or at least a public place,” Nene said.
Today, the EFF’s leader, Julius Malema, is expected to address the gathering which saw a closely contested battle for the position of provincial chairperson between the party’s two members of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature Vusi Khoza and Vukani Ndlovu.
The EFF is hard at work in a bid to make inroads in the province ahead of next year’s general elections.
Malema previously said his party was intent on ensuring it weakened the ANC's stronghold in the province.