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Rand gains as ANC contradicts Zuma on #GuptaEmails, calls for probe

Jun 02 2017 13:34
Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town – The rand gained sharply on Friday as the African National Congress (ANC) contradicted President Jacob Zuma regarding the leak of Gupta emails in the media, which implicated him and other officials in state capture.

The rand edged from R12.94/$ to R12.88/$ in a space of 45 minutes on Friday, after Reuters first published the statement from the ruling party.

- See the #GuptaEmails Special Report

"The statement appeared to contradict Zuma, who said at a parliamentary session on Thursday that he was not interested in 'hearsay' published in newspapers, although he did not address the latest leaks directly," Reuters reported. Zuma told Parliament the day before that a probe into state capture would help “recover the facts and remove rumours”.

However, the ANC used far stronger language, saying that the emails “call into question the integrity and credibility of the government”.

Referring directly to the leaked emails as the #GuptaEmails, the ANC said the reports contain “very worrying claims about the nature of the relationship between government and private interests”.

“The ANC views these allegations in a very serious light as if left unattended, they call into question the integrity and credibility of the government and the use of state resources under the direction of or to the benefit of private interests.

“Such matters cannot be allowed to fester in the public domain. Accordingly, the African National Congress calls on government to urgently seek to establish the veracity of these claims and explanation from those implicated.”

It repeated its executive committee directive calling for the establishment of a judicial commission of enquiry into allegations of state capture without delay.

City Press and the Sunday Times first published details from about 700 emails over the weekend, and News24 and TimesLive followed suit during the week, revealing a multitude of new allegations of state capture. The allegations point to suspicious activity between the Guptas and members of the ruling party, as well as executives at state-owned companies.

The Daily Maverick announced this week that the emails came from a tranche of between 100 000 and 200 000 emails it had obtained. Some outsiders who started working through them leaked them to the weekend papers three months after the online site first obtained the database of emails.

The Guptas’ lawyer has advised the family to lay criminal charges against any media house and individual journalists who publish details of the emails.

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