Catholic priests ask Madonsela to investigate Guptas
- Wired World
- 18 Mar 2016 02:52 (South Africa)
Johannesburg - The Dominican Order of Catholic priests has asked Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate the alleged involvement of the Gupta family in ministerial appointments.
Madonsela's office said on Friday that the Order had asked for an investigation into whether the Guptas offered Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former MP Vytjie Mentor Cabinet positions in exchange for favourable executive decisions.
It wanted to know whether the Guptas knew of Des van Rooyen's appointment as finance minister before it was made public. Van Rooyen was appointed following Nhlanhla Nene's axing in December last year. Following a public outcry, Pravin Gordhan replaced him.
On Wednesday, Jonas said the family offered him the position of finance minister before it was given to Van Rooyen. He rejected the offer.
The Dominican Order wanted to know if “senior advisors” linked to the Guptas were appointed to the National Treasury, alongside Van Rooyen, without procedure having been followed.It further asked Madonsela to look into all of the family's business dealings with government departments, to determine if there were any "irregularities, undue enrichment, corruption and undue influence in the award of tenders, mining licenses, government advertisements in The New Age newspapers and any other government services".On Tuesday, Mentor said she met the Guptas at their Saxonwold home in 2010, where they offered her the job of Public Enterprises Minister before Barbara Hogan was removed. She said President Jacob Zuma led her out of the family's home afterwards.In an interview with PowerFM on Thursday night, she said the terms were: "Assist with SAA not running the Indian routes anymore... you will become a minister in a week."The Guptas have denied both claims. Madonsela's office said it would first establish if it had jurisdiction to investigate the allegations and if they had any merit. The assessment process took up to five working days.