SACP backs Jonas, asks others to speak out against state capture

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mncebisi Jonas with President Jacob Zuma. (Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mncebisi Jonas with President Jacob Zuma. (Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

The ANC-aligned South African Communist Party (SACP) has came out in support of Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas after he admitted he was offered the post of finance minister by the wealthy Gupta family, who is close to President Jacob Zuma, and challenged others to speak out against “state capture”.

“The SACP congratulates Comrade Mcebisi Jonas for refusing the offer, and for coming out against the malady of corporate state capture,” it said in a statement late on Wednesday.

“The SACP further invites other comrades with similar experiences to come out, take their cue from Comrade Mcebisi Jonas, speak out and join the revolutionary determination to stop the danger of corporate state capture.”

State capture is the term used to describe private interests influencing the State’s decision-making processes.

The SACP called on the ruling party to take charge of efforts to eliminate the phenomenon.

“As the SACP we are further calling on our movement and the alliance, as led by the ANC, to take categorical steps to terminate poisonous relationships such as corporate state capture and its twin evil, rent-seeking,” the statement said.

“The SACP is looking forward to our movement defending its revolutionary values as epitomised by the stance taken by Comrade Mcebisi Jonas and ensuring that no victimisation in any form takes place.”

Guptas
While dismissing insinuations that the party’s previous criticism of the Gupta’s was “misconstrued to be attacking President Jacob Zuma”, the SACP again slammed the family, who come from India.

“South Africa has a history of illustrious families, the Mandela, Slovo, Sisulu, Dadoo, Tambo, ?among others, and who never sought to monopolise access to public power and resources,” it said.

“Who is the Gupta family by the way; what are their revolutionary credentials in our struggle for national liberation and social emancipation; what is their claim to fame and entitlement to our resources and basic wealth as a nation?”

The party congratulated Jonas for his “revolutionary morality” and made an appeal that the whistleblower not be punished.

“The SACP is looking forward to our movement defending its revolutionary values as epitomised by the stance taken by Comrade Mcebisi Jonas and ensuring that no victimisation in any form takes place.”

Jonas, in a televised admission, earlier on Wednesday said he had rejected the offer of a promotion when approached by the Guptas.

“The basis of my rejection of their offer is that it makes a mockery of our hard earned democracy, the trust of our people and no one apart from the President of the Republic appoints ministers.”

The deputy minister also spoke out against state capture and the “resultant potential of undermining our moral authority”.

The Guptas, in statement issued on Wednesday night, denied Jonas’s claims, and hinted at legal action.

“We challenge Minister Jonas to provide a full account of the supposed meeting that took place, under oath, in a court of law,” the statement said.

The statement went on to attack the deputy minister’s integrity.

“Minister Jonas is attempting to cover up and divert attention away from his own relationships and practices. We are confident questions about his own ethical standards will be exposed.”

The family complained the claims by Jonas were part of a political smear campaign against them.

Jonas’s revelations follow that of former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor who this week took to Facebook to claim that the Gupta family had offered her the post of minister of public enterprises on condition that she scrap the national airline’s route to India and allowed them to operate it.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, a former Zuma ally, also claimed in Parliament that the Guptas had offered sports and recreation minister Fikile Mbalula his post before being officially appointed by Zuma. – African News Agency (ANA)

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