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‘Zuma's last born’ Des van Rooyen ducks questions on Dubai

12 September 2017 - 17:08 By Thabo Mokone
Des van Rooyen. File photo.
Des van Rooyen. File photo.

Cooperative governance minister Des Van Rooyen has refused to answer questions in Parliament on his alleged links with the Gupta family.

Responding to oral questions in the National Council of Provinces‚ Van Rooyen cited President Jacob Zuma's pending decision on the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture.

Van Rooyen was answering a question from EFF MP Tebogo Mokwele‚ who wanted him to confirm or deny if the Guptas had paid for his trip to Dubai a few days after his short-lived appointment as minister of finance in December 2015.

"Let's not be victims of expediency here‚" said Van Rooyen.

Van Rooyen‚ who was constantly taunted as a "weekend special" and "Zuma's last born" by Mokwele and other EFF MPs‚ insisted that the Guptas had nothing to with his appointment to cabinet..

"It's the president that appoints ministers‚" he said.

Van Rooyen was joined in the NCOP by his public service and administration counterpart Faith Muthambi‚ who was mocked by Mokwele for showing up in Parliament's second chamber while she had been failing to attend oversight committee meetings in the National Assembly.

Muthambi denied allegations that she had stripped some of her department's senior officials of their administrative powers‚ including director-general Mashwahle Diphofa.

Muthambi‚ who is also a former minister of communications‚ has been at the centre of controversy after the Sunday Times exposed her for flying some of her family members and close friends to Cape Town for her budget vote speech at taxpayers' costs.

"There's no powers of the CFO that I have stripped…neither have I stripped any DG of any powers‚" she said. "I have never taken away any function that belongs to them in terms of the law. They are still performing their responsibilities in terms of the Public Finance Management Act and the Public Service Act."