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Wed Apr 23 20:19:19 SAST 2014

Mantashe: No fallout with Zuma over Guptas

Sapa | 21 May, 2013 00:56
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe
Image by: TSHEKO KABASIA

It is unnecessary for President Jacob Zuma to explain his relationship with the Gupta family to the ANC, the party's secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, said yesterday.

"Did the president take us into his confidence about the relationship between [him] and the Gupta family?

"I'm not sure if that is necessary," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"It is not the business of the [national executive committee of the ANC] who I relate to in my personal capacity.

"The question is whether the relationship impacted on the behaviour of the family."

He said the national executive committee had welcomed the report of the directors-general appointed to investigate the landing of a private jet, chartered by the Guptas, at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

"The [committee] agreed to wait for the report of the directors-general as commissioned by the ministers in the security cluster.

"The ANC welcomes the outcome of the investigation.

"We appreciate [the] details contained in the report and the clarity given," he said.

"It provides the basic information on what happened. This will help the parliamentary debate [tomorrow].

"We are confident that the relevant ministers will take the process to its logical conclusion so that this incident does not repeat itself."

The plane landed at the base last month. It was carrying 270 guests for the wedding of Vega Gupta, 23, and Indian-born Aakash Jahajgarhia, at Sun City, in North West.

On Sunday, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said Zuma and his cabinet had no involvement in the landing.

Radebe said one of the findings of the investigation was that the landing was a direct result of processes being manipulated.

Radebe said that names had been "dropped" in the course of securing authority for the landing, including those of Zuma, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and Transport Minister Ben Martins.

Mantashe denied that there was a conflict between himself and Zuma because of the incident.

The ANC is considering having a fixed venue for its national conferences, Mantashe said.

"It is not working for us, this thing of rotating the conference and creating conference infrastructure every five years at huge cost," he said.

"In the next [national executive committee meeting], we must take the decision that our conference will be in place X, and we can start working now for the conference in 2017."

He said that, in this way, the ANC could begin to deal with the costs and activities of its national elective conferences "as early as possible".

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Wed Apr 23 20:19:19 SAST 2014 ::