Public Protector asked to investigate alleged involvement of Gupta family in state affairs
Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela was on Friday approached by the Dominican Order to conduct a systemic investigation into the involvement of the Gupta family in state affairs and the award of contracts to companies linked to the family.
The Dominican Order, a group of Catholic priests and brothers in Southern Africa, requested the Public Protector to investigate allegations that the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Mcebisi Jonas, and a former Member of Parliament, Ms Vytjie Mentor, were offered cabinet positions by members of the Gupta family in exchange for favourable executive decisions and beneficial business interests.
They also requested the Public Protector to investigate whether the appointment of Mr Des van Rooyen as Minister of Finance was known beforehand by the Gupta family as has been alleged. The Dominican Order further asked the Public Protector to look into allegations that two “senior advisors” linked to the Gupta family were appointed to the National Treasury, alongside Mr Van Rooyen, without following proper procedure.
In addition to these, the Dominican Order, asked the Public Protector to look into all business dealings of the Gupta family with any of the government departments to determine whether there were irregularities, undue enrichment, corruption and undue influence in the award of tenders, mining licenses, government advertisements in the New Age Newspapers and any other government services.
The complaint will be subjected to the Public Protector’s standard assessment process, which seeks to establish if the Public Protector has jurisdiction to investigate the allegations and also to ascertain if there is any merit to the claims. The assessment process takes up to five working days. Only after this process will the Public Protector be in a position to make a decision on whether or not the matter will be investigated.