Former public servants call for a Zuma - Gupta probe

The group wants a public inquiry into claims the Guptas’ friendship with Zuma influences important decisions.

FILE: Atul Gupta. Picture: Atul Gupta Kumar/Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - A group of former senior servants have apparently called on government to set up an independent public inquiry to probe claims that the Gupta family are using their friendship with President Jacob Zuma to pressure officials to make decisions that favour the controversial family's business interests.

Sunday papers are reporting that the 27 former officials, which include former director generals, have written to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, to call for the inquiry.

Their call comes amid allegations that the Guptas have captured the state by using their ties to Zuma to influence decisions over who is appointed to Cabinet or other senior positions.

In a memorandum entitled, 'Save the Soul of the Public Service from State Capture', the former director generals are calling for the inquiry to investigate all senior political and administrative officials who, in their dealings with the Guptas, may have breached the Constitution.

They are also urging National Treasury to begin an investigation into the possible involvement of the controversial family's financial flows out of South Africa.

The former senior public servants have also recommend that the inquiry include Chapter 9 institutions and that public servants be allowed to freely come forward with information.