It was almost a year before #StateCapture and #GuptaLeaks. ANC Women’s League president and Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini was in New York attending UN Commission on Women.
Back home, the ruling NEC’s meeting was taking place at its usual venue at St Georges Hotel in Irene, Pretoria. Several party leaders were beginning to peel the layers on state capture allegations.
One of them, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, had written a letter in which he alleged the Guptas offered him R600 000 to become a minister of finance. He said he refused the offer.
Mcebisi and former finance minister Pravin Gordhan have both since been sacked in a controversial Cabinet reshuffle that precipitated the downgrade of our sovereign credit rating to junk status.
SABC US correspondent Sherwin Bryse-Pearce pressed the minister, during an interview the public broadcaster characterised as “frank”, on whether ANC leaders should discuss issues outside of NEC.
Most people could have battled to decode what exactly “smallanyana skeletons” entailed, particularly as she said she only knew the Guptas from reading their daily publication and their news channel.
Not one Primrose Sonti, though, the EFF MP who hails from Marikana and a member of portfolio committee on social development. She took on the minister during a budget vote on her department in 2016.
Sonti was enraged with the minister that she managed, with interjections from ANC deputy chief whip and another EFF MP, to unsettle the ordinarily cool-headed house chairperson, Thoko Didiza.
After several spurrious points of order in which Sonti accused Dlamini as having been drunk when Port Elizabeth residents booed her, she finally agreed to withdraw her accusations about the minister.
Watch the full interview with SABC on the “smallanyana skeletons” matter below: