Mantashe: Name-dropping quite common

Gwede Mantashe has come out defending Jacob Zuma's relationship with the Guptas.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) on Monday reiterated that President Jacob Zuma's ties with the Gupta family had nothing to do with the Gupta plane saga and South Africans must stop assuming it is a cover up.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said South Africans based their views on perceptions and not facts.

"South Africans make many assumptions, there is a certain outcome they want."

Mantashe added that findings of government's investigations show that Zuma was not involved and yet the public still believed it was a cover up.

"Their theme is, anything coming from government cannot be trusted."

The Secretary General said the President does not need to justify or explain his personal relationship with the Guptas.

He continued that the ANC was satisfied with the findings which would help guide Tuesday's Parliamentary debate.

Meanwhile, just a day after the findings of government's investigation into the Gupta plane saga were released, the ANC said "name dropping" had become common in South Africa.

The political party is warning the practice is only likely to escalate in the run up to elections next year.

It was revealed on Monday the names of senior cabinet officials and Zuma were used to ensure the red carpet was rolled out for the Gupta wedding delegation.

Mantashe said it was not surprising that name dropping was used in the Gupta saga.

"When people want favours they will name drop, that will happen all the time when we go to the elections because people want to make an entry point in elections."

Mantashe said dealing with powerful people is also an issue because money can buy anyone and anything, which has become a terrible trend in society.

NO STRAINED RELATIONS BETWEEN SA/INDIA

The Department of International Relations maintained the Indian government had not requested a diplomatic apology following the landing debacle.

The Sunday Independent reported that Zuma should expect an angry reception when he visits India in two weeks' time.

However, international relations' Clayson Monyela said the relationship between the two countries was not under strain.

"The relations between India and South Africa are historic. They are friendly, strong and solid and there's absolutely no strain in the relationship. There are no tensions between the two countries."

WATERKLOOF

On 30 April Eyewitness News broke the story when around 200 Gupta weddings guests made a controversial landing at Waterkloof Air Force base in Pretoria.

The jet was ordered to leave the base and then depart from OR Tambo International two days later.

The wealthy family is said to have close ties with Zuma.

On Sunday, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe released the findings of a government investigation into the debacle.

The report showed that the Gupta family used Zuma's name to get permission to land at the air base.

Radebe said the clearance for the landing of the aircraft was "based on false information and abuse of privileges, the combination of which resulted in the manipulation of the process by various persons who shared a common purpose and acted in concert".

A full report into the matter would be released later this week.