‘I wrote Gupta let­ter’

Maseko con­firms writ­ing sole sub­mis­sion to Man­tashe

The Witness - Wheels - - NEWS -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — For­mer govern­ment spokesper­son Themba Maseko has con­firmed that he made the sole writ­ten sub­mis­sion to ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe on how the Gupta fam­ily al­legedly tried to cap­ture the state.

Man­tashe on Mon­day told jour­nal­ists that only one out of the eight com­plaints made to him was handed over as a writ­ten sub­mis­sion af­ter he said ANC mem­bers with com­plaints about in­ter­fer­ence by the Gupta fam­ily into state af­fairs should bring th­ese to his of­fice.

Maseko told News24 he hadn’t read Man­tashe’s state­ment yet.

“The im­pres­sion I get is he’s say­ing that un­less more peo­ple come [for­ward], he will not in­ves­ti­gate, but peo­ple must go to Chap­ter 9 in­sti­tu­tions and make their sub­mis­sions there.”

Maseko said he is part of an ini­tia­tive by for­mer direc­tors-gen­eral to speak out against state cap­ture, and will call on govern­ment to make a pub­lic in­quiry. He could, how­ever, not say which body the direc­tors-gen­eral would ap­proach.

“We are still work­ing out the details,” he said.

Maseko said although he had re­ceived “quite a few threats on Twit­ter of peo­ple say­ing they will in­ves­ti­gate or ex­pose me”, most pub­lic ser­vants, re­tired pub­lic ser­vants and mem­bers of the pub­lic were sup­port­ive.

Asked why more peo­ple did not come out to com­plain about al­leged state cap­ture, he said: “Let them speak for them­selves.” At least two sources, who did not want to be named, said Man­tashe’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion had no real power and that might have de­terred peo­ple from lodg­ing com­plaints.

Maseko in March told the Sun­day Times a mem­ber of the Gupta fam­ily had tried to get him to help with a govern­ment con­tract in­volv­ing their New Age news­pa­per.

He also sub­se­quently tweeted: “If all who have been sum­moned to Sax­on­wold [where the Gup­tas live] were to meet, FNB sta­dium won’t be big enough.”

Maseko’s com­ments at the time fol­lowed rev­e­la­tions by Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Mce­bisi Jonas that the Gup­tas ap­proached him last year to of­fer him for­mer Fi­nance min­is­ter Nh­lanhla Nene’s job be­fore Nene was sacked.

For­mer min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Siphiwe Nyanda, who called on Zuma to re­sign fol­low­ing the rev­e­la­tions of state cap­ture, told News24 he did not make a sub­mis­sion be­cause he was never di­rectly ap­proached by the Gup­tas.

For­mer MP Vytjie Men­tor had made claims that she too was ap­proached by the Gupta fam­ily for a min­is­te­rial po­si­tion while Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma was in the same house.

Zuma is close friends with the Gupta fam­ily, who are busi­ness peo­ple.

ANC spokesper­son Zizi Kodwa could not be im­me­di­ately reached for com­ment.

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