Veracity of Gupta emails not disputed

Concern: ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa (r) says the party must verify the Gupta emails.

Concern: ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa (r) says the party must verify the Gupta emails.

ANC ministers implicated in the Gupta emails have not disputed them – “not even a single one” – and two or three even confirmed the emails, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

The ANC wants the government to act against all those implicated in wrongdoing in the leaked Gupta emails, including Cabinet ministers, instead of waiting for a judicial commission to be appointed.

Speaking to the Mail & Guardian this week, Kodwa said the party was worried about the negative impact the leaked emails were having. He said ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe had started contacting some of the ministers implicated to ask for explanations. He also called those said to have signed a letter to the Public Protector calling for a probe into the Treasury.
All those who were said to have signed it denied doing so.

“With emails, the difficulty is that not even a single one was able to say: ‘No, that email is wrong’, except two or three who have said: ‘I can confirm that email’, which is a bit of a difficulty.”

Kodwa said: “Our view is that, without suggesting that they must do anything, but government must authenticate the emails so that we can move on with our lives because the dark cloud is hanging on a number of key ministries, including the minister of finance. We can’t allow that dark cloud to hang on forever.”

Despite some people confirming the emails, government entities seem to be dragging their feet by not taking action against those implicated.

They include Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi, Minerals Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Muthambi, the leaked emails show, shared confidential Cabinet information with the Guptas, which, if true, is a criminal offence. Gigaba is alleged to have collaborated with the Guptas by appointing people loyal to the politically connected family to key positions in state-owned entities. Gigaba was also involved in green-lighting the Guptas’ citizenship applications while he was home affairs minister. Kodwa said the ANC was worried about the allegations because they impacted negatively on the integrity and the credibility of the state, the government and the individuals mentioned.

“The issue of the relationship between government, state and the private interest is at the heart of this allegations. Some of those issues that are raised cannot wait for a judicial commission of inquiry. They are serious allegations, not only about Malusi and his deputy (Sfiso Buthelezi), but the whole range of people.

“We need to move with speed, [with] government using all its capacity. We need certain things to be clarified immediately because we need to restore the confidence of our people and the investment community, including the private sector, so that we can move on with the recovery plan to grow our economy,” Kodwa said.

Asked what the ANC was doing in the face of the explosive Gupta email revelations, Kodwa referred to Mantashe’s calls. “What the SG [secretary general] has started to do in light of all these allegations, he calls everybody who is mentioned …” But, approached by the M&G for comment, Mantashe denied making any such calls.

South African Communist Party deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila said on Wednesday his party has written to the Hawks to investigate everything relating to the leaked emails, including their content. Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla has also called for tough action to be taken against those implicated in the emails.

Matuma Letsoalo

Matuma Letsoalo

Matuma Letsoalo is the political editor of the Mail & Guardian. He joined the newspaper in 2003 and has won numerous awards since then, including the regional award for Vodacom Journalist of the Year in the economics and finance category in 2015, SA Journalist of the Year in 2011, the Mondi Shanduka SA Story of the Year award in 2008 and CNN African Journalist of the Year – MKO Abiola Print Journalism in 2004.
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