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'Govt money used to fund Gupta wedding must be recovered'

Cyril Ramaphosa says he will not remain quiet as leaked emails suggest laundered South African taxpayers’ money was used to pay for the Gupta wedding.

FILE: Aakash Jahajgarhia and Vega Gupta shortly before their 2013 wedding. Picture: Gupta family.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says everyone knows it was government money that funded the Gupta family wedding at Sun City and now that cash, stolen through state capture, must be recovered.

He was speaking at the SACP's national congress in Boksburg on Wednesday.

Leaked emails suggest laundered South African taxpayers’ money was used to pay for the Gupta wedding, with the amaBhungane investigative report saying millions meant for a Free State government empowerment project were instead used to pay for the ceremony.

That’s after guests first landed at the Waterkloof Airforce Base.

“Should we remain quiet when all of this happens? No, we cannot and I will be one of those who will not be keeping quiet.”

Ramaphosa says he will not turn a blind eye to the country losing its sovereignty.

“We also know that we as taxpayers in this country paid for a lavish wedding that took place at Sun City. These are resources with which we were meant to build schools, houses and fund higher education for the poor.”

He says that money must be recovered.

“We also need to go out and recover the money that has been stolen.”

Ramaphosa warned that if law enforcement agencies did not act now, state capture would undermine the foundations of democracy.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)