'Gupta-linked ministerial job offer claims could seriously hurt Zuma'

Vytjie Mentor claims she was offered the job of public enterprises minister with Zuma in the room next door.

FILE. A screengrab of President Jacob Zuma during The New Age Business Briefing at Grand West Casino in Cape Town on 12 February 2016.

JOHANNESBURG - Corruption Watch says President Jacob Zuma may be guilty of corruption if he's abusing the appointment of ministers to benefit business interests and will have to dissociate himself from the Gupta family if it's proven they made a job offer to a former African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP) without his consent.

Vytjie Mentor has claimed in a Facebook post that she was offered the position of public enterprises minister in 2010 by the Gupta family at their Saxonwold home while Zuma sat in another room.

But the family has denied this, challenging Mentor to sign an affidavit in which she repeats the claim.

Corruption Watch director David Lewis says while the claim still needs to be verified, it could have serious implications for the president.

"If the president had offered a cabinet post to anybody in exchange for that person exercising his or her official responsibilities to suit the private interests of the president or his family or a close business associate, the president would undoubtedly be guilty of corruption."

He also says the extent of the Gupta influence also needs to be clarified.

"If the Guptas had the authority to offer that position in exchange for a personal consideration for themselves, you would have evidence - not only of the most serious state capture, but also of corruption. If they had no authority and they were simply just bluffing, it's for the president to disallow the Guptas."