NEWS & ANALYSIS

Mcebisi Jonas and the Guptas: The truth must out - David Maynier

DA MP says Pravin Gordhan must disclose whether his deputy had meeting as claimed

Pravin Gordhan needs to tell us the truth about his deputy and give us the assurance that National Treasury is Gupta-proof

13 March 2016

The Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, must now step in and clean up the mess created by the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mcebisi Jonas, over reports that he attended a meeting with Atul Gupta, Ajay Gupta and Duduzane Zuma, two weeks prior to the former Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, being fired on 09 December 2015.

The Deputy Minister reportedly:

- met Atul Gupta, Ajay Gupta and Duduzane Zuma at a hotel in Sandton on 27 November 2015 which was arranged by an unnamed businessperson; and 

- was offered the position of Finance Minister provided he supported the nuclear build programme and purged senior officials at National Treasury. 

However, the Deputy Minister reportedly did the right thing and left the meeting telling participants: “you don’t run the country”.

We do not know whether the story is true but the fact that the Deputy Minister has refused to confirm or deny the reports creates the impression that the reports are true. 

That is why the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordon, must now step in and clean up the mess created by the Deputy Minister’s refusal to comment. 

We need the Minister to determine the facts and make a public statement clarifying: 

- whether the Deputy Minister met with Atul Gupta, Ajay Gupta and Duduzane Zuma at a hotel in Sandton on or about 27 November 2015; 

- whether Deputy Minister was offered the position of Finance Minister provided he supported the Nuclear Build Programme and purged some senior officials at National Treasury; and

- whether the Deputy Minister reported the meeting to any person.

The Deputy Minister’s zigzagging has created the impression that the reports are true.  That is why we need the Minister to tell us the truth and give us the assurance that National Treasury is “Gupta-proof”.

Statement issued by David Maynier MP, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, 13 March 2016