Opposition parties call for inquiry into Guptas’ hold over Zuma

Opposition parties want a probe into the Gupta family’s involvement in affairs of state.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties are calling for a judicial inquiry into the Gupta family' s involvement in affairs of state and say that Parliament should also launch its own investigation.

The calls came in response to Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas confirming that the Guptas had offered him the position of finance minister shortly before his then boss, Nhlanhla Nene, was sacked by President Jacob Zuma.

The Guptas could also face corruption charges as lawmakers demand answers.

Zuma is at the centre of the row.

He's accused of being under the sway of the Guptas, with whom his son is in business.

The Gupta family swiftly repeated its denial that there was any offer to Jonas, citing internal divisions within the African National Congress (ANC), but opposition parties are gearing for battle.

Zuma is expected to face a barrage of questions over just who is in charge of the country when he answers Members of Parliament (MP)'s questions in the National Assembly this afternoon.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)'s Narend Singh has called for a judicial commission of inquiry into the Gupta's apparent hold over the president.

"It's really important for the stability of the country and for the economy of the country."

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Mmusi Maimane wants a multi-party committee to investigate the Gupta family's business dealings and alleged involvement in Cabinet appointments.

"South Africans are angry, and I think rightly so. It would be wrong of me to say it is just business as usual. The president must account."

WATCH: Mcebisi Jonas on being offered a job by the Guptas

DA MP David Maynier intends laying charges against Atul and Ajay Gupta today.

"We think the deputy minister's disclosure amounts to a prima facie case of corruption."

The United Democratic Movement's (UDM) Nqabayomzi Kwankwa has taken aim at the president.

"He must go and retire peacefully so that we can get on with the business of running the country, and rebuilding it."

At the same time, the Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) Hlengiwe Hlophe says her party's position has been vindicated.

"We are still going to fight as the EFF for the Guptas to leave the country. And Zuma must pay for this."

The EFF says Zuma's question and answer session this afternoon will be meaningless, claiming he's already ceded his presidential powers to the Gupta family.

To read the deputy minister's full statement, click here.

(Edited Tamsin Wort)