Ramaphosa: Jonas’ Gupta claim made Mantashe realise party couldn’t probe family

President Cyril Ramaphosa was responding to questions about the Gupta family during his second day of testimony at the state capture inquiry.

President Cyril Ramaphosa checks his phone ahead of the start of proceedings on his second day of testimony at the state capture inquiry on 29 April 2021 in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN – African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said that it was Mcebisi Jonas’ allegation that the Guptas offered him a bribe that got the party's then secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, to realise that the ANC couldn’t investigate allegations about the family.

But he said that Mantashe was wrong to call media reports about the Guptas racist.

The state capture commission presented Mantashe’s response to allegations, including that ministers shivered when they were called by the family.

MEDIA PRAISE

Ramaphosa said that politicians had a tendency to look at the media with bias or lens but he said that he commended journalists for their relentless patriotism.

“I think all of us will agree that our reading and interpretations of a whole lot of things that happened then was blinded by the events of the time and is why I will commend the role of the media. The media has played a phenomenal role.”

But Ramaphosa said media reports were not enough and the ANC had to conduct an inquiry through other structures like Parliament.

He told the commission on Thursday that the ANC could have done better in holding the executive to account.

He said that when the Gupta leaks were exposed through a string of media reports, they presented a flood of evidence which required Parliament, which had investigative and an oversight role, to start investigating.

Ramaphosa said Parliament was not always active in the fight against corruption and ANC MPs had to be reminded about their role.

“The ANC took a decision that we now needed to get our parliamentary structures to be more alert when it comes to the issue of oversight.”

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