DA asks Madonsela to probe Zuma over Gupta ties


File: The Democratic Alliance want the Public Protector to probe the alleged abuse of power on the part of President Jacob Zuma following claims that he had allowed the Gupta family to pick ministers.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance on Friday urged Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to launch an investigation into alleged abuse of power on the part of President Jacob Zuma, following claims this week that he had allowed the Gupta family to pick cabinet ministers.

“These revelations directly implicate President Zuma, and after laying criminal charges against Atul and Ajay Gupta yesterday (Thursday), it is our view that the Public Protector is most appropriately suited to deal with the matter at hand in relation to President Zuma,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane said.

Maimane said Madonsela should investigate whether the President had breached the Executive Ethics Act by exposing himself to a conflict of interest, using his position to enrich himself and others and compromising the integrity of this office.

On Wednesday, Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said he had been approached by the Gupta family and offered the post of finance minister shortly before Zuma fired Nhlanhla Nene in December.

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor said the family had also offered her a minister’s position, while former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan has spoken of pressure brought to bear on her by Zuma to make certain decisions.

Meanwhile, Mentor has since shed more light on her apparent meeting with the Gupta family in 2010.

In an interview with Power FM, Mentor says President Jacob Zuma accompanied her out of the Gupta mansion.

This was shortly after she had refused an offer from the Guptas to become public enterprises minister.

The Presidency insists Zuma does not remember her.

Mentor’s claims were followed by a statement from Mcebisi Jonas, that the connected family offered him the job of finance minister, before the sacking of Nhlanhla Nene.

* For more on this story watch the video by Malungelo Booi in the gallery above.

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