‘Van Rooyen may have used finance minister post to improperly benefit Guptas’

Thuli Madonsela says Des van Rooyen may have attempted to influence the appointment of ministers.

FILE: Des van Rooyen being sworn in as Finance Minister on 10 December 2015. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - A letter from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to Minister Des van Rooyen included in his court bid reveals he may have used his four days as finance minister to improperly benefit the Guptas.

Van Rooyen has revealed the Public Protector's allegations, observations and evidence against him in his own court papers trying to prevent the release of her state capture report.

In a letter sent to minister Van Rooyen, Madonsela says it appears that he may have used his position as finance minister to improperly benefit another person.

He claims he was afforded just 24 hours to respond.

The Public Protector says she has made the inference that van Rooyen may have attempted to influence the appointment of Cabinet ministers to benefit his relationship with the Gupta family.

She also observes that van Rooyen or his advisors may have sought to influence a government official to award contracts to the Gupta family in an irregular and unfair manner.

Van Rooyen doesn't deny that he appointed two advisors but says he doesn't know if they were aligned to the Gupta family as claimed.

He disputes that they asked members of National Treasury for information on the South African Airways Airbus swap deal.

The minister also asks for details and evidence of suggestions that he repeatedly visited the family's Saxonwold compound.

Read Des van Rooyen's application to interdict the release of the state capture report.