The leader of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, was on Thursday kicked out of Parliament by the Speaker for challenging President Jacob Zuma during a question and answer session.
Maimane had asked the president to clarify if the wealthy Gupta family had offered anyone a cabinet position during his term of office and if Mr. Zuma was ready to resign if that were the case.
His question comes on the back of a declaration made by the country’s deputy finance minister, Mcebesi Jonas.
Baleka Mbete has just asked Mmusi Maimane to leave the NA. https://t.co/lhl11vo1Lw— News24 (@News24) March 17, 2016
Jonas on Wednesday disclosed that the Gupta family had offered him the position of finance minister after Nhlanhla Nene was fired but he rejected the offer.
But President Zuma told parliament he gave Jonas a deputy ministerial appointment and not that of a substantive minister adding that the opposition leader could ask the Guptas or the deputy minister for further clarification.
This is not the first time president Zuma has been linked with the wealthy Gupta family.
A political scandal named Guptagate started in South Africa almost two years ago when a private aircraft carrying guests attending a high society wedding in Pretoria, landed at South Africa’s military air base.
President Zuma who was said to have given the green light for the landing of the private aircraft at the military base, denied the allegation in parliament.
Now there are suggestions that the Gupta family is interfering in government’s business with Jonas’ case being a reference point.
The BBC reports that a senior ANC party official, Gwede Mantashe has warned that South Africa risks becoming a “mafia state”, as pressure grows on President Jacob Zuma over his links with the wealthy family.
Zuma battles to save presidency as dirt piles up and ANC warns of 'mafia state'; top party organ meets this weekendhttps://t.co/dviiVZscC1— Charles Onyango-Obbo (@cobbo3) March 17, 2016
Gwede Mantashe’s comments also come on the back of Mcebesi Jonas’ allegation.
Barbara Hogan, the wife of Nelson Mandela’s former cell mate, Ahmed Kathrada condemned the stronghold of the Gupta family on the government and asked the ANC to take a decisive action to save the party.