Gordhan goes silent on Gupta family’s alleged job offer to Jonas

‘The Sunday Times’ reported the Gupta family met with Mcebisi Jonas and offered him Nhlanhla Nene’s job.

FILE: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan has refused to answer questions about whether his Deputy Mcebisi Jonas was offered the job of finance minister by the Gupta family saying he has no personal knowledge of this.

Gordhan is reporting back on his investor roadshow last week.

Yesterday, The Sunday Times said the Gupta family had met with Jonas and offered him the job with certain conditions before President Jacob Zuma fired Nhlanhla Nene.

The paper also said African National Congress Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte also offered Jonas the job.

Gordhan was asked directly if he had any personal knowledge of whether Jonas was offered the job of finance minister.

He didn't answer the question directly, saying the Treasury could assure Jessie Duarte its officials were not in the habit of getting into politics.

Then he was pushed: Did he know if the Gupta family had offered Jonas his job?

Gordhan stopped and said, "My silence says it all."

He was asked the question for the third time and this time he responded by saying he has no personal knowledge of this and there's nothing further he can say.

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Gordhan says he wants to know why someone at the Hawks is leaking the institution's letters to him about a controversial South African Revenue Service (Sars) unit that he helped create.

Yesterday, the Sunday Independent said the Hawks had given him until this afternoon to answer 27 questions about the unit.

But Gordhan says that letter published by the paper was actually an old letter and that he had already responded to it; saying he wouldn't be able to make today's deadline.

He says it's wrong that this communication is being presented in this.

"Why do you have to leak these things? If you want to talk about them, have a press conference like us [now], put all the facts on the table and talk about it. There's no need to leak to malign people."