Naledi Shange, News24
Photo: File / AP on News24
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma is not bothered by people's perceptions of his relationship with the Gupta family.
"Why should it bother me?" Zuma asked during an interview with eNCA on Sunday, on the sidelines of the ANC's 104th birthday party in Rustenburg.
"Do you know the Guptas have been the friends of the presidents of this country? I am not the first one," Zuma said. All the criticism of his relationship with the wealthy family was politically motivated.
One reason for the criticism was that his son Duduzane had worked at a Gutpa-owned ICT company for a while, and then left to start his own business.
"I don't understand why that is a problem. If I had a father and I take my decision as an adult to do what I want to do, why must my father suffer for that one?" he asked.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told the Sowetan the Guptas had not captured the ruling party, but certain individuals within the party.
"They would not have any influence on the ANC. They would have relations with individuals in the ANC. That does not give them influence over the ANC," he was quoted as saying in the paper’s edition on Sunday.
In April 2013, a chartered plane carrying about 200 guests to the wedding of a Gupta family member at Sun City landed at Waterkloof Air Force Base, a national key point.
In August 2015, a delegation led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa flew to Japan in a plane owned by the Gupta family.
The defence department hired the Bombardier Aerospace plane through a state-managed contract with service provider ExecuJet. The plane was reported to have been registered to Westdawn Investments, which was owned by the Gupta family.
Duduzane Zuma was a director at the company. The defence department denied knowing that the plane belonged to the Guptas.