Trade union federation Cosatu has become the latest structure within the ANC-led alliance to publicly speak out against the powerful Gupta family’s reported influence over President Jacob Zuma and several of his ministers. The federation called on Zuma to distance himself from the family.
“He should reprimand them and make it clear that they do not have his tacit support or endorsement,” the federation said, following its political commission meeting yesterday.
“Their overconfidence and bravado is proof that they view the relationship with the president and his family as a ticket to interfere in state and ANC affairs.” Cosatu said in a statement the Gupta family had “embarrassed”, “weakened” and “divided” the movement at all levels.
Cosatu said the Guptas are “a huge political liability” and it wants the family to be dealt with decisively. “The meeting also condemned the Guptas for using their media to create factionalism and divisions in the ANC,” the federation said. “They must be told in no uncertain terms that their actions are not acceptable.”
Cosatu said it was worried about the Guptas reported influence on the state. “We have no reason not to believe the disciplined ANC cadres, who allege that they were offered positions by the Guptas. “They have no regard for our labour laws in our country in areas where they do business.”
The South African Communist Party, which has been critical of the Guptas’ influence, had called for a judicial commission of inquiry into the political influence of the Guptas. ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe had called on those with evidence about the purported influence by the Guptas to come forward with information.