Van Rooyen denies going to Dubai to meet Guptas
Cooperative governance minister Des van Rooyen has dismissed media reports that he went to Dubai to meet with the Guptas as "baseless allegations which are not true". In an interview with the Herald in Port Elizabeth on Monday‚ Van Rooyen said his trip to Dubai was scheduled long before he became minister and was a private visit.'Gupta ministers' in secret trips to Dubai"It was an in and out visit‚ I could have stayed for a week if I had the money. It was a private visit I paid for‚" he said.Guptas leave South AfricaVan Rooyen also spoke about his qualifications‚ saying he has no problem with them being scrutinised.Earlier this year President Jacob Zuma said Van Rooyen was the most qualified person to be appointed to the position of finance minister.According to Africa Check‚ which cited the government’s website‚ Van Rooyen has several certificates in governance and finance. He obtained a master’s degree in management from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2010. He also has another master’s degree in finance - specialising in economic policy - from the University of London. This was obtained in 2013 through distance learning."I understand my qualifications are of public interest‚ I don't have a problem people can scrutinise them...they are real‚" he told The Herald on Monday.Van Rooyen is visiting the city to check the status of the department's intervention in the metro. He will address Helenvale residents on Monday afternoon.Van Rooyen also pleaded with the media to "leave his family alone"."Face me as the minister ... do not engage my family. My family must be given space to be themselves‚" he said. In December last year‚ President Jacob Zuma unexpectedly replaced then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene with Van Rooyen‚ only to replace him four days later with former finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Van Rooyen took over as minister of co-operative governance from Gordhan.