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Sun Jul 24 03:04:33 CAT 2016

ANC leadership to grapple with Zuma links to Guptas‚ infighting‚ elections and economy

Natasha Marrian | 18 March, 2016 16:16
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. File photo
Image by: LAUREN MULLIGAN © THE TIMES

The economy and local government elections are the two items on the agenda of a meeting of the African National Congress top brass‚ but a debate on the influence of politically connected Gupta family on President Jacob Zuma are likely to dominate discussions.

The national executive committee meeting follows a heated week in which a number of ANC leaders outed the manner in which the Guptas attempted to influence them‚ most prominent being Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the economy and institutions in the finance cluster will come into sharp focus at the briefing. This is likely to include the SA Revenue Service‚ whose commissioner Tom Moyane and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan are at odds.

Mantashe said a report of the national working committee will also be presented to the NEC - which includes feedback from a meeting between the Gupta family and the top six leaders of the party.

Mantashe lashed out at the Gupta-owned television station ANN7 ahead of the meeting‚ who have said the furore over the influence of the family over Zuma is part of a plot to remove him ahead of the party's 2017 conference.

He said NEC members could "see through" the manner in which the story was being reported.

The meeting comes amidst mounting calls for the ANC'S top decision making structure between conferences to take decisive action against the influence of the Gupta family.

Calls from business‚ ANC stalwarts‚ civil society and churches mounted on Friday.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation on Friday reiterated a call by the SA Communist Party for a judicial commission of inquiry into the Gupta family's dealings in SA and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela received a request by the Dominican Order of Southern Africa for a probe into the same. Her office confirmed on Friday afternoon that she would launch a preliminary probe into whether she had the jurisdiction and the grounds to conduct a full investigation.

Zuma and the Gupta family deny any wrongdoing.

The NEC meeting concludes on Sunday.

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