SUNDAY TIMES - Another shuffle coming at Finance Ministry?
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Sunday Times News By Sam Mkokeli And Natasha Marrian, 2016-03-17

Another shuffle coming at Finance Ministry?

Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas arrives for a media briefing in Pretoria in this December 14, 2015 file photo.
Image: SIPHIWE SIBEKO SIPHIWE SIBEKO

There is intense speculation that Mcebisi Jonas will be moved from the deputy finance minister position‚ possibly as early as next week.

This comes amid his revelations on Wednesday that he was approached by the Gupta family and offered the position before the axing of the then minister Nhlanhla Nene in December last year.

Party sources said Jonas could be "promoted" to minister‚ possibly trade and industry.

He would make way for parliamentary novice Sfiso Buthelezi‚ who was quietly sworn in as an ANC MP early this month.

As Deputy Finance Minister‚ Jonas oversees the Public Investment Corporation‚ which handles more than R1.8-trillion in assets.

The comments by Jonas about the Gupta's places President Jacob Zuma in an awkward position ahead of a crucial African National Congress national executive committee (NEC) meeting this weekend.

But Jonas appears to have political support.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe welcomed his frank admission‚ saying this was about a business developing into an "oligarch".

"If oligarchs cannot be disciplined by the state‚ they discipline the state. We are going to develop into a mafia state where all what the state will be doing is to nurse interests of family businesses‚" he said.

Mantashe said when the ANC at its January lekgotla raised the danger of state capture‚ it was accused of embarking on a witch hunt.

The party was now "heartened" that people were bold enough to come forward and encouraged others to do the same.

The ANC’s top brass had previously met the Gupta family and asked them to explain the allegations around their influence on the government and on state-owned entities such as Eskom.

A report on this meeting is to be presented to the ANC’s national executive committee.

- TMG Digital/Business Day