No Shaik redux. This time Zuma stands by Guptas. He’ll fall with them too.

When you’re in a hole, it’s best to stop digging. SA President Jacob Zuma did so when his relationship with Schabir Shaik started hurting. Yet, despite clear evidence the immigrant Gupta family has played him like a cheap fiddle. Zuma’s “friendship” isn’t wavering. Even now, when it is obvious to all but himself the game is over. Zuma’s best option would be to plead ignorance; instead he refuses to distance himself from the personification of South Africa’s crony capitalist cancer. That tells us everything about how deeply the relationship has become embedded. ANC members claiming to be victims of Gupta abuse are flooding into ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe’s office in Luthuli House. With each new revelation, the pressure grows. The smart move for Zuma would be to negotiate a deal and head home to Nkandla. Instead, the clumsy Zupta response will add to the eventual pain. Their efforts to influence opinion through social media has morphed into often ridiculous posts by inexperienced “Guptrolls” who hurt rather than aid their cause. Ditto the statement by alleged illegal cigarette kingpin Edward Zuma that continued disclosures by respected columnist Max du Preez reflect the rantings of a “bitter old white man”. The truth hurts those on its wrong side. Its power is systematically destroying once impregnable Fortress Zupta. Hope Springs. – Alec Hogg

By Mpho Raborife, News24

Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma has allegedly defended his relationship with the Gupta family, according the SABC.

On Wednesday, the broadcaster’s London-based reporter Dan Whitehead took to Twitter, saying Zuma saw no reason to “distance himself” from the family.

“SA President Zuma tells me he feels no reason to distance himself from Guptas – saying family has been far closer to others in SA #sabcnews,” he wrote.

Zuma also reportedly said he did not think his link to the family had ever caused a problem and said the matter of state capture was being “handled”, Whitehead wrote.

“SA Pres Zuma on links to Guptas “don’t think it has ever caused a problem” – state capture investigation “Matter is being handled” #sabcnews” he wrote.

Last week Zuma’s relationship with the Gupta family was thrust into the spotlight following revelations by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former MP Vytjie Mentor that they had been offered Cabinet positions by the Guptas at the family’s home in Saxonwold, Johannesburg.

Their claims led to the public and some party members calling on the ruling party to take action.

Last Thursday during a question and answer sitting in the National Assembly, Zuma denied claims made by Jonas, saying only he had the power to appoint ministers.

He had previously claimed not to recall who Mentor was, despite the fact that she had claimed that after she declined the offer, Zuma had told her “It’s okay Ntomabazana” while walking her out of the Guptas’ home.

On Sunday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told reporters at a briefing following a national executive committee meeting at St George’s Hotel in Irene, just outside Pretoria, that the NEC had instructed officials and the national working committee to gather all pertinent information about the allegations.

Those who had had similar experiences were encouraged to come forward to the party and share the information. – News24


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