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Thu Dec 08 18:05:26 SAST 2016

I was offered ministerial position by Guptas, says Jonas

TMG Digital | 2016-03-16 17:34:37.0
Ajay Gupta and his younger brother Atul, right, offered Mcebisi Jonas, far left, the position of finance minister — on condition he purge the Treasury of those opposing a proposed nuclear deal, say sources
Image by: MARTIN RHODES

Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas confirmed on Wednesday evening that the Gupta family had offered him the position of finance minister to replace Nhlanhla Nene but that he had rejected it out of hand.

“The basis of my rejection of their offer is that it makes a mockery of our hard-earned democracy‚ the trust of our people, and no one apart from the president of the republic appoints ministers‚” Jonas said in a statement.

He also said he wished to place on record that there had been no discussion between ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte and himself on this matter.

“I have hesitated to speak out publicly on this matter until now‚ but I feel it is no longer possible to remain quiet. Of primary concern to me is that this issue has a real danger of diverting attention away from the real and urgent challenges we face as a country‚” Jonas said.

Watch Jonas admit he received an offer from the Guptas

He added that he was committed to good governance‚ abiding by the constitution of the country and being accountable to its people “who repeatedly express their confidence and trust in us‚ election after election”.

“It is this constant state of awareness and consciousness drummed into most of us throughout our service in the national democratic revolution, led by the ANC‚ that has provided us with the moral capital and tools to apply sound judgment to navigate challenges that emerge in the natural course of societal leadership. It is only through these values and moral covenants that I serve my organisation‚ my fellow country men and women‚ my beloved South Africa.

“Finally‚ I remain confident that the challenges that we face as a nation will be overcome if we collectively use our efforts for the benefit of all. I am resolute in playing my part in preserving the integrity of National Treasury as an institution in my capacity as deputy minister," Jonas said.

“I’m also committed to making my contribution towards building a prosperous South Africa led by the glorious movement of our people‚ the African National Congress‚” he added.

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