MK: Zuma consistently failed to address Gupta influence

Former commanders of MK have spoken out about the president & ‘state capture’.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Former commanders of Umkhonto we Sizwe have told Eyewitness News that President Jacob Zuma has consistently failed to address allegations of Gupta influence in the African National Congress' (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

The commanders have written a letter to the party's Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe demanding a special congress be called to elect new leaders and chart a way forward for the organisation.

LISTEN: ANC to investigate process of 'state capture'

But this call is only valid if it's made by five provinces.

One of the signatories, former MK chief general Siphiwe Nyanda, says he was in the national NEC meeting when Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula raised concerns about the Gupta's influence.

"I was in the national NEC meeting when Fikile Mbalula said, 'I was approached before I was appointed as minister of sport.' There was no demurral from the president."

He says despite these serious allegations, the matter was ignored by the president.

"He did not allude to this, these allegations are very serious."

However, M balula has denied claims he was hired by the Gupta family.

Several people including Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema have 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

CONFIDENCE IN ZUMA

Head of the MK Military Veterans Association Kebby Maphatsoe says they're happy with Zuma's leadership.

"There is no need for a special congress and we've got confidence in the leadership and ANC under President Jacob Zuma."

While the ANC has acknowledged receipt of the letter from the commanders, it has not yet responded to the demands.

Meanwhile, reports suggest that the president has again defended his controversial friendship with the Gupta family.

A UK correspondent for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has been tweeting about comments made by the president on the sidelines of his visit to France.

The SABC reporter in France says he asked the president about his relationship with the Gupta family.

He says Zuma replied that he doesn't see a problem with the friendship and remarked that there are other people who are closer to the family.

However, he gave no hint as to who he was talking about.

ZUMA'S 'DARE'

It's understood the president told the NEC to indicate openly if they wanted him recalled instead of stabbing him in the back.

Both the Mail & Guardian and the Sowetan reported on Zuma's so-called 'dare' to the NEC.

The Sowetan reported that Zuma dared the NEC to get rid of him.

At the post-NEC meeting, the ANC's Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, did not answer a question about whether Zuma's recall was ever raised at the meeting.

But the ANC has denied the claims.

The party's Zizi Kodwa says the reports are nothing but gossip.

"The reports are nothing but fabricated lies and gossip."

The ruling party has also lashed out weekend reports claiming rival factions within the party are conspiring to oust the president.

To read the full memorandum by Umkhonto we Sizwe commanders, click here.