Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas confirmed on Tuesday morning he stood by his claims that members of the Gupta family offered him the top Treasury job.
He also expressed confidence that his current boss‚ Pravin Gordhan‚ would “come out very clean” in his standoff with the Hawks over allegations about his time as commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
On the job overtures from the Guptas and state capture‚ Jonas told Radio 702 that he had made a “statement that is very detailed” to African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.
The ruling party shelved that probe in June‚ with Mantashe claiming there was nothing to investigate.
“If they wanted extra details they could have just contacted me‚” said Jonas‚ who also confirmed that he had been contacted and met with the public protector about the same issue‚ and that that matter was ongoing.
Jonas had claimed that he was approached by the Guptas just before erstwhile finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was axed.
On Tuesday‚ he expressed concern about the negative affects of the Sars-Gordhan impasse as “Treasury’s integrity is a big issue for us‚ though we know that‚ at the moment‚ there is no basis for the allegation‚ at least from all the documents that we have looked through”.
“If it is taken beyond the point that it is at‚ we are sure that we will come out very clean on the issues‚ so we are not worried about that‚” Jonas said.
But‚ he added‚ the issue had not created “uncertainty not only for Treasury‚ but uncertainties across the whole economy”.
“It would be useful for this country to deal with this issue as quickly as we can‚” Jonas.
“Political behaviour does impact on certainty‚” he said‚ adding that his biggest “worry” was the “danger and growing perception that state-owned institutions are being used politically and to advance political agendas”.