News / South Africa

Reuters
2 minute read
7 Jun 2017
12:16 pm

#GuptaEmails damaging the ANC, says Mantashe

Reuters

The ruling party says it views these allegations in a very serious light as they call into question the integrity of the government.

Secretary-general of the ANC Gwede Mantashe at their 2016 NEC meeting in Irene on August 14 2016. Picture: Michel Bega

The African National Congress is being damaged by leaked emails alleging fraud in the awarding of state contracts, the party’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, said on Tuesday.

Allegations of government corruption have escalated this week after local media began reporting on more than 100 000 leaked emails they say show inappropriate interference in the issuing of lucrative tenders.

The ANC said on Friday it was gravely concerned by leaked documents alleging influence-peddling by friends of President Jacob Zuma, deepening a divide in South Africa’s ruling party over its leader.

Some media reported on Thursday  they had access to over 100 000 leaked documents and emails that showed improper dealings in lucrative government contracts by business friends of Zuma.

The latest allegations of influence-peddling may deepen divisions in the ANC as factions battle for control ahead of a party conference in December where a successor to the beleaguered, scandal-plagued Zuma will be chosen. Zuma can remain as head of state until an election in 2019.

Zuma and the Gupta family, wealthy Indian-born businessmen whose companies have contracts with state-owned firms, have not commented but have denied similar allegations in the past. Reuters could not independently verify the new allegations.

“These reports contain very worrying claims about the nature of the relationship between government and private interests,” the ANC said in a statement, calling on government to urgently establish the veracity of the leaks.

“The ANC views these allegations in a very serious light as, if left unattended, they call into question the integrity and credibility of the government.”

The statement appeared to contradict Zuma, who said at a parliamentary session on Thursday that he was not interested in “hearsay” published in newspapers.

A backroom schism in the ANC over Zuma has burst into the open in recent weeks as his opponents seek to oust him or ensure his chosen candidate does not take over the reins.

Analysts say Zuma’s camp will back his ex-wife and former African Union chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in December, while another faction will support Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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Zuma says he’s not interested in media ‘hearsay’