24 May 2018

South Africa: Ramaphosa - #guptaleaks Opened My Eyes That the Wheels Were Coming Off

Photo: @PresidencyZA/Twitter
President Cyril Ramaphosa meets the leadership of the South African National Editors Forum at Tuynhuys, Cape Town

President Cyril Ramaphosa has praised the media for exposing state capture, saying the thousands of leaked emails from within the Gupta empire made him realise "we were dealing with a much bigger problem than we ever imagined".

Between 200 000 and 300 000 emails were leaked to the media a year ago that set in motion a series of exposés that became known as the #GuptaLeaks.

Responding to questions from editors during a question-and-answer session with the South African National Editors' Forum at Tuynhuys in Cape Town, Ramaphosa "applauded" the media for "prising wide open" the extent of state capture.

Asked what he had done as deputy president to stop state capture, Ramaphosa said: "Before that (the leaked emails) it looked like isolated incidents... at Eskom and elsewhere, but when the Gupta emails came out, it was clear that the wheels were coming off completely."

The emails showed how the Gupta family, who had the ear of former president Jacob Zuma and enriched his son Duduzane through numerous directorships, had infiltrated numerous state-owned enterprises and laundered money to fund private projects and to bank accounts in Dubai and India.

After Ramaphosa became president in February, following Zuma's resignation, the Hawks began rounding up suspects and the Asset Forfeiture Unit froze bank accounts belonging to the family and their conduits.

Ramaphosa admitted he could possibly have done more in his previous position as deputy president, "but we are where we are now. Let's look forward."

The president said it was now up to the law enforcement agencies to bring those involved in corrupt activities to book.

He encouraged the media to keep on digging and exposing corruption, including in the private sector.

Source: News24

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