The Witness - - FRONT PAGE -

CAPE TOWN — Min­is­ter of Co­op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs Des van Rooyen stuck to his guns af­ter Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane found that he had mis­led Par­lia­ment about his meet­ings with the Gup­tas.

In a state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day, Van Rooyen said he has noted with con­cern me­dia re­ports al­leg­ing that he had mis­led Par­lia­ment. “It is con­cern­ing that I heard this ru­mour of a re­port through the me­dia ... and [it] was never for­warded to me or be­ing alerted of it, even I am cited in it, (sic)” Van Rooyen said.

DA MP Kevin Mile­ham filed a com­plaint with the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor, al­leg­ing that he had mis­led Par­lia­ment. In a Par­lia­men­tary ques­tion in 2016, DA chief whip John Steen­huisen asked Van Rooyen whether he had ever met with the Gup­tas. He re­sponded: “The min­is­ter and his deputy min­is­ters have never met with mem­bers, em­ploy­ees and/or close as­so­ciates of the Gupta fam­ily in their of­fi­cial ca­pac­i­ties.”

Van Rooyen’s state­ment reads: “Min­is­ter Van Rooyen has never dis­puted that he met any­one as­so­ci­ated with the Gupta fam­ily out­side of his port­fo­lio. As a trea­surer gen­eral of the Mkhonto We Sizwe Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion (MKMVA), part of his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties is to en­gage the busi­ness com­mu­nity to en­list their sup­port into var­i­ous pro­grammes they are un­der­tak­ing.

“It is in that ca­pac­ity that I have met the mem­bers of the Gupta fam­ily,” Van Rooyen said.

“The min­is­ter re­sponded to the ques­tions by the pub­lic pro­tec­tor, em­pha­sis­ing the dis­tinc­tion be­tween his ca­pac­ity as the min­is­ter and as a trea­surer­gen­eral of the MKMVA.” — News24.

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