The Guptas own website and newspaper, The New Age, has carried a clumsy and amateurish rebuttal of some of the claims of the family influencing economic decision and cabinet appointments. The Video rebuttal on the site doesn’t actually mention the accusations by Mentor, Hogan and Jonas and concentrates on lesser issues of contracts and the claimed contribution of Gupta companies to the econ0my. The website carries a number of rather poorly attributed or written stories all supporting the Gupta/Zuma verison of eevents with no real discussion and lots of bluster from Zuma and his supporters in the ANCYL. Certainly a case of media capture as there is no attempt at balance. KS
President firm on Cabinet
DENNIS CRUYWAGEN and Peter Ramothwala
He and he alone appoints ministers and deputy ministers as well as remove or fire them.
No minister has been appointed by the Gupta family, a defiant President Jacob Zuma told
Zuma told DA leader Mmusi Maimane that the appointment and removal of Cabinet members were dealt with in terms of the Constitution.
“The Constitution does not require me to consult anyone before I appoint or remove a minister or deputy minister,” he said. Laughing, Zuma said: “I appointed Jonas as the deputy minister. That’s what I offered (Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi) Jonas. I never offered Jonas minister.
If Jonas says he was offered by the Guptas, I think you’ll be well placed to ask Jonas or
the Guptas. I have no business with that. Don’t ask me. I am in charge of the government. I appoint in terms of the Constitution.
“There is no minister who is here who was appointed by the Guptas. Ministers who are here were appointed by me.” The furore over the Jonas-Gupta saga continued unabated yesterday.
“If he had felt it was important for him to join the Gupta chorus he would have done so a long time ago,” Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said.
Mbalula was asked about allegations that the Gupta family had informed him about his pending ministerial appointment at a briefing yesterday. “We are not governed by the Guptas, we are not run by Guptas.
We are not here for the Guptas – we are here for sport. If you want to ask me a question,
ask me out of this particular press conference,” Mbalula said.
“And the fact of the matter is I owe nobody any explanation. The onus is on those who make such allegations. I’m not going to join the chorus of which I don’t know who is the conductor.
I’m in charge of my own destination and I don’t just dance to music that I’ve never composed. I compose my own sounds,” He said Fikile Mbalula, minister of the ANC, was appointed by Jacob Zuma, seconded by the ANC.
“Those who’ve composed the chorus, let them dance to it,” he said.
Lamola can go picket for Zuma recall all he wants:ANCYL
The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) says it is not going to engage on any level with former youth league leader ANC Youth League (ANCYL) after he called for President Jacob Zuma to step down.
League spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said yesterday the league was not going to concern itself with Lamola.
“If he wants to picket, let him continue, but a disciplined member of the ANC and ANCYL knows there are process in place within the structures of the organisation to deal with any matter,” he said.
A former ANCYL deputy president, Lamola, has called for Zuma to step down.
Yesterday Lamola told his 5000 followers on social media that he was also mobilising members of the ANC to picket outside St George Hotel in Irene to plead with the national executive committee (NEC) to fire Zuma.
Lamola encouraged members who don’t arrive at the picketing venue to send their grievances to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.
“Those who will not be able to attend the picketing outside the NEC meeting, let’s send him our views that the NEC must recall President Jacob Zuma.”
The former ANCYL deputy president blamed Zuma for a number of issues affecting the country, including allegations that the Gupta family appointed members of the Cabinet.
“The ANC NEC must stop making romantic resolutions and recall Zuma. No outcome is going to assist us except Zuma’s recalling,” he said.
Lamola’s call comes after mounting pressure on the ruling party and Zuma on the Gupta family’s influence in the government.
At the ANCYL’s elective conference last year, Lamola was nominated for the presidency but lost out to Collen Maine.
Delegates resorted to renominating Lamola for the presidency but the election agency declined the renomination, saying it would require a recount, which was not permitted.