Zuma shrugs off Gupta-Jonas claims

President Jacob Zuma insisted none of his ministers were appointed by the Guptas.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma has shrugged off explosive allegations that his deputy finance minister was offered the top treasury job by the Gupta family.

Zuma has told Members of Parliament (MP) his decision to fire former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene last December was well-considered and done in terms of the Constitution.

He was replying to a question from Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane.

WATCH: DA Leader Mmusi Maimane leaves Parliament

Maimane was later ordered out of the house after saying Zuma was lying when he told MP the rand was already in trouble when he sacked Nene.

The entire DA caucus then staged a mass walkout.

The DA's leader pushed for an answer.

"So my question to you Mr president is whether the Gupta family has ever offered anybody a Cabinet position in your term as president or is minister (sic) Jonas in fact lying."

Zuma replied, "I never offered Jonas ministry that's why he's a deputy minister. If Jonas says he was offered by the Guptas, I think you would be well placed to ask the Guptas, or Jonas. Don't ask me, where do I come in?"

The president insisted none of his ministers were appointed by the Guptas and that there were good reasons for Nene's axing.


At the same time, Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula has also denied claims he was hired by the Gupta family.

Several people, including Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, called on Mbalula to come clean about claims he was first told of his appointment by the influential business family.

WATCH: Mbalula: I don't dance to the Guptas' chorus.

During a media briefing on Fifa claims that South Africa paid a bribe to secure rights for the World Cup, the minister was asked about the Gupta claims.

A visibly upset Mbalula first told reporters he would not entertain what he says are "aspersions based on fiction".

The minister went on to say it's the president of the Republic who has a final say on appointments.

"We are not governed by the Guptas, we are not run by the Guptas, we are not here for the Guptas [but] we are here for sports."

He threw the gauntlet to those who have made claims to provide proof that he was hired by the Gupta family.