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Treasury's 'corrupt' leadership must step down - EFF

Jun 15 2017 17:58
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – Allegations of corruption against Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his deputy Sfiso Buthelezi have prompted the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to call for Treasury’s new leadership to step down.

Gigaba has been implicated in letters circulating on social media which indicate that he granted members of the Gupta family South African citizenship while he was home affairs minister, News24 reported. Earlier in June Gigaba also questioned the veracity of leaked Gupta emails showing that senior Home Affairs officials had fast-tracked visa applications for the Gupta family.

READ: I handled Gupta citizenship applications 'by the book' – Gigaba

Further it is alleged that Buthelezi benefited from tenders awarded to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) while he was board chairperson, News24 reported.

In a statement the EFF expressed concern that these allegations overshadowed a press briefing held on Thursday about the way forward for the economy. The new leaders of Treasury had to spend time answering questions related to the allegations. The briefing extended over two hours.

“Throughout the press conference they had to explain their personal involvement in the corrupt looting of state resources.

“This is precisely why such ministries should not be led by such people, who instead of focusing on the economy, they are entangled in corruption,” said national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

“No investor, both domestically and internationally, can ever be confident in our country and its government when our finance ministry is led by corrupt individuals,” he said.

“Malusi Gigaba and Sfiso Buthelezi must step down from the finance ministry and let honest and credible individuals lead in those posts.”

During the briefing Gigaba had defended his actions and called out the media for not verifying allegations before reporting. He also said that these matters were detracting from achieving goals of inclusive growth and transformation.

READ: Gigaba: Economic transformation to push forward, despite bleak economy

The Democratic Alliance’s David Maynier called the briefing a disaster due to its delayed timing. Maynier also criticised the minister for giving the impression that new measures would be taken to deal with the recession.

Gigaba continued to promote inclusive growth and transformation in line with the National Development Plan goals. He also indicated that spending would be reprioritised to remain within the fiscal framework, Bloomberg reported. 

Earlier this week the minister postponed the briefing to attend an ANC leadership meeting.

Gigaba said that Treasury would meet with President Jacob Zuma in two weeks to finalise policy. 

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