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Only Zuma can appoint or dismiss Cabinet ministers, insists the ANC

The party has hit back at claims the Gupta family influenced the appointment of ministers by the president.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) says recent reports that the Gupta family have allegedly influenced the appointment of ministers By President Jacob Zuma, undermines the authority of the governing party and does not represent the party's views.

The ANC has released a statement saying only the president holds the prerogative to appoint or dismiss cabinet ministers, and this is done in consultation with its officials.

The Gupta's perceived influence will top the agenda of an ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this weekend.

Its national officials will table their report following a meeting with the family and Zuma's son Duduzane.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says the party can no longer ignore the public perception.

"If there's growing perception that there are certain individuals, including the Gupta family that influences an appointment, the ANC must act on that. We can't leave it as a perception."

Meanwhile, former ANC Members of Parliament (MP) Vytjie Mentor says she stands by her claim that the Guptas offered her the position of public enterprises minister in 2010 while Zuma was in the other room at the family's Saxonwold home.

Mentor made the claims on Facebook and says she was offered the job by the Guptas in exchange for a favourable business decision.

She has once again taken to Facebook to say she was raised to tell the truth and was not lying when she claimed the Gupta family offered her a ministerial job.

Mentor also says she worked closely with the president before he became the Head of State and finds it hard to believe that he does not recall who she is.

She says she intends on elaborating on the Guptas influence.

But Kodwa says they have not confirmed the claims with Mentor.

"We have not been able to confirm anything with Vytjie Mentor. We wonder why she would have allowed and lived with that allegation for so long. But we leave that conspiracy aside. That she comes with it now is part of the issues that we cannot ignore."

The Guptas have firmly denied offering Mentor the job and have dismissed any other claims of wrongdoing as "gossip".

To read the ANC statement on the matter, click here.