Mcebisi Jonas confirms the Guptas offered him a job

In a statement he’s just released, he also says he rejected the offer out of hand.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma flanked by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas outside Tuynhuys after the Budget Speech on 25 February 2015. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas has confirmed that he was offered the position of finance minister by a member of the Gupta family.

In a statement he's just released, he also says he rejected the offer out of hand.

The Gupta family has previously denied claims that they had made the offer to Jonas.

Full Statement from Jonas. A watershed SA moment - he must have thought long and hard and carefully crafted it.

He even went as far as explaining why he rejected the offer.

"The basis of my rejection of their offer is that it makes a mockery of our hard-earned democracy, the trust of our people and no one apart from the President of the Republic appoints ministers."

Local reports had suggested African National Congress (ANC) Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte also made the same offer to Jonas, but he says she never did.

"Let me also place it on record that there was no discussion between Jessie Duarte and myself on this matter."

The deputy minister says he didn't want to speak publicly on this issue but that it's no longer possible to remain quiet.

Jonas also points out that he's worried that this issue has a real danger of diverting attention from the real challenges South Africa faces.

He also says that what he calls the narrative of state capture should be of concern to all responsible and caring South Africans, particularly those who are leaders.

WATCH: Jonas: The Guptas offered me finance minister job

Jonas is the second ANC member to confirm the Guptas' influence over the appointment of cabinet ministers.

This week, former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor claimed she was offered the public enterprises minister job by the same family on condition she make a favourable business decision for them.

Meanwhile, Mentor has reacted to the news on Facebook.

Viva cde. Mcebisi Jonas! The truth shall set us free!

Posted by Vytjie Mentor on Wednesday, March 16, 2016

To read the full statement, click here.


Earlier today, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was again challenged to come clean on whether or not his deputy was offered a job by the Gupta family.

Gordhan was in the National Assembly, where he was speaking on the division of Revenue Bill.

Treasury had so far refused to comment on reports that Jonas was offered the top post in treasury just weeks before Nene was fired.

The Democratic Alliance's (DA) Member of Parliament (MP), David Maynier tackled Gordhan yesterday over the issue, and was told Jonas would answer questions when he was ready.

"I note the Minister of Finance is in the House today and we hope that he's used the past 24 hours to meet the Deputy Minister and that today is the day that he will tell us whether the Deputy Minister met members of the Gupta family."

The party also put pressure on Parliament's Public Enterprises Committee to summon the Gupta family to come before it.

DA's Natasha Mazzone said, "We've requested the chairperson of public enterprises to summon the Guptas before parliament according to Rule 18 of parliamentary procedures and we'd like a full interview to be conducted with the Guptas."