Cabinet unhappy with Gupta allegations

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pretoria - Cabinet has expressed "shock and dismay" at media reports alleging improper and undue influence by the Gupta family over members of Cabinet.

"Cabinet expressed shock and dismay at the insinuation that its decisions are influenced by business people or their commercial interests. Cabinet is guided by the Constitution, the country's laws and its code of ethics in the execution of its duties," said Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi, following an ordinary Cabinet meeting. 

Manyi explained that there were Cabinet processes in place which ministers used when making decisions on matters. "No Cabinet member has to consult anyone outside of those processes when making decisions."

He said Cabinet wished to assert that while every South African and legitimate legal persona from anywhere in the world had the right to conduct business in South Africa, it strongly condemned the use of the names of President Jacob Zuma and Cabinet members in the pursuit of private business deals.

Manyi said Cabinet had urged those who may be doing so to stop the practice.

Cabinet condemned "name-dropping", saying it could not allow a situation where people used the name of the President or any Cabinet member in doing their business. "We cannot allow a situation where the integrity of Cabinet would be undermined by these people who go around name-dropping."

In a statement on Sunday, Dr Cassius Lubisi, Director General and Secretary of Cabinet said the Presidency had rejected allegations that the relationship between members of President Zuma's family and the Gupta family had impacted on the President's work in running Cabinet and the country.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has noted media reports on the medical facility at the Presidential Estate. 

The Presidential Medical Unit (PMU) has been operating from the Presidential Estate since 1998 to provide medical support to the President, Deputy President as well as former Presidents and Deputy Presidents and foreign dignitaries. 

Manyi said the unit had been housed in a caravan ever since and in 2006, a decision was taken to refurbish the facility to ensure that it complied with primary health care standards." - BuaNews