#StateCaptureReport: Zuma may have 'conflict of interest' in Gupta bank saga | Fin24

#StateCaptureReport: Zuma may have 'conflict of interest' in Gupta bank saga

Nov 02 2016 18:42
Gareth van Zyl

Johannesburg - Cabinet’s attempt to intervene in the matter of local banks closing Gupta-owned company accounts may indicate a conflict of interest for President Jacob Zuma.

This is according to observations made in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on state capture, which was released on Wednesday.

In April this year, Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe said three Cabinet ministers held meetings with South Africa’s four big banks over the closure of the bank accounts of the Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments.

In September, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane also sparked controversy when he claimed that Cabinet would launch a judicial commission of inquiry into the banks amid the closing of the Gupta’s bank accounts.

But the Presidency quickly denied Zwane’s claim and said it was not reflective of Cabinet’s position.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Gupta PR firm knew about bank probe weeks before Zwane dropped bomb

Madonsela in the report also makes reference to Zuma’s son, Duduzane Zuma, who earlier this year resigned as a non-executive director of Oakbay-linked Shiva Uranium.

“Cabinet appears to have taken an extraordinary and unprecedented step regarding intervention into what appears to be a dispute between a private company ... owned by the President’s friends and his son,” reads the state capture report.

“This needs to be looked at in relation to a possible conflict of interest between the President as head of state and his private interest as a friend and father as envisaged under section 2.3(c) of the Executive Ethics Code which regulates conflict of interest and section 195 of the Constitution which requires a high level of professional ethics. Sections 96(2)(b) and (c) of the Constitution are also relevant,” reads the report.

The state capture report was released on Wednesday after Zuma dropped his bid to interdict the release of the investigation.

READ: Political noose tightens around Zuma's neck

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