Gigaba on Guptas: I make my own decisions
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says the Gupta family has no influence on his decisions and while he's met them before, he has no relationship with them.
JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says the Gupta family has no influence on his decisions and while he's met them before, he has no relationship with them.
Gigaba was speaking at the National Treasury's offices in Pretoria on Tuesday where his predecessor Pravin Gordhan was doing an official handover.
Gigaba says while S&P Global’s decision to downgrade the country to junk status is a setback, now is not the time to be despondent.
He says the nation must trust in his ability.
“I take my own decisions. I have met them and was invited a couple of times to Diwali celebrations, as I have attended other religious and cultural events at the home of other business people. Those things don’t impact on my ability to take credible decisions.”
The finance minister says he'll gladly accept advice about this vital portfolio from his predecessors, adding that he’ll continue to meet Pravin Gordhan about a number of issues, indicating that there's no bad blood between them.
“We will take whatever assistance we get from not only our immediate predecessors but also from comrade Trevor Manuel and comrade Nhlanhla Nene.”
Earlier, Gigaba said he knew in advance that S&P Global would be taking the decision on the country’s status. He added that he would not resign following the rating agency’s decision.
ZUMA & GUPTAS
President Jacob Zuma’s relationship with the Gupta family has stirred controversy.
Zuma has denied numerous allegations of the Guptas wielding undue influence on his administration.
The Guptas have also routinely dismissed reports of their alleged influence, saying they are pawns in a political plot to get Zuma out of office.
However, former deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said the Guptas had offered him the top job at the Treasury before Zuma fired Nhlanhla Nene. The Guptas also denied that allegation.
WATCH: New Finance Minister aware of junk status downgrade
The three Gupta brothers moved to South Africa from India at the end of apartheid in the early 1990s and went on to build a business empire that stretches from technology to the media to mining.
They have also forged a close personal relationship with Zuma's son Duduzane.
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)