In a statement on Friday, the DA made it clear that it thinks the notorious Gupta family’s influence on government remains as strong as ever, despite the fact that they announced their intention to sell all their shares in the country.
The opposition party’s shadow minister of finance, David Maynier, pointed the finger in particular at Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who he said was serving his “clients”, the Guptas, well.
The minister had headed up the inter-ministerial committee that investigated the decision by South Africa’s banks to terminate their banking relationships with the family’s primary investment vehicle, Oakbay Investments.
They said that news that the committee was now recommending that an inquiry be established to work out why the Guptas had been snubbed was evidence that President Jacob Zuma’s friends, the Guptas, were being prioritised over the wellbeing of National Treasury and the Reserve Bank.
Maynier said that the recommendation to now establish “a judicial commission of inquiry to look into the allegations surrounding the termination of banking relationships with Oakbay Investments, amounts to a ‘political hit’, not just on the banking sector, but also on National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank”.
“And it proves that, although the Gupta family may now be less brazen, they are just as influential at getting exactly what they want from President Jacob Zuma.
“The fact that the minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, was a member of the [inter-ministerial] committee, but boycotted its meetings, shatters the credibility of the committee and its recommendations, and suggests Cabinet are divided on how to deal with the Guptas.
“We will therefore petition President Jacob Zuma not to establish a section 84(2)(f) judicial commission of inquiry. In the end, the announcement by the minister is likely to cause further market turmoil, currency weakness and make a sovereign ratings downgrade more likely in South Africa.”