Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas has confirmed that the politically connected Gupta family offered him the job of minister.
“Members of the Gupta family offered me the position of Minister of Finance to replace then-Minister Nene,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I rejected this out of hand. The basis of my rejection of their offer is that it makes a mockery of our hard earned democracy, the trust of our people and no one apart from the President of the Republic appoints ministers.”
Reports surfaced at the weekend that Jonas was called to a meeting with the Guptas and offered the job two weeks before then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was removed.
The Sunday Times also reported that President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane was at the meeting at a Sandton hotel in November. The newspaper further alleged that Duarte offered Jonas the position a few days later.
Jonas, however, denied that Duarte approached him.
“Let me also place it on record that there was no discussion between the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC Ms Jessie Duarte and myself on this matter,” he said.