Authenticity of letter calling for Zuma - Gupta probe questioned

The Public Service Dept says it doubts the authenticity of the letter sent by former public servants.

Atul Gupta. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Service and Administration Department says it doubts the authenticity of a letter sent by a group of former senior civil servants in which they call for an independent public inquiry into claims of state capture by the Gupta family.

The 27 former officials, which include director generals, have written to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Public Service Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, calling for the inquiry.

Ramatlhodi's special advisor Mahlodi Muofhe says, "We appreciate their concern but we are also not sure about the authenticity of that letter because we don't know whether they are acting individually or as an entity and we can address them as such if that is the need."

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.