We paid back the Gupta money, says Mmusi Maimane
DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Thursday said the party had paid back all the money it had received from the Guptas and would not, under any circumstances, accept donations from the controversial family or their associates.
"I have no inclination of dealing with the Guptas and I have made that very clear," said Maimane, in response to questions at the Cape Town press club.
ANC treasury general Zweli Mkhize confirmed on Wednesday that the governing party had received funding from the controversial Gupta family, but said the amount was "insignificant".
In 2013, erstwhile DA leader Helen Zille confirmed that the party had received donations worth R400,000 from an associate of the Gupta family and one of their companies.
At the time Zille insisted there was nothing wrong with the donations, as there was no scandal involving the Guptas when the money was initially accepted in 2009 and early 2010.
Zille later instructed the DA’s fundraising department to cut ties with the Guptas and any of their companies. But she insisted at the time that the DA would not return any of the money.
However, Maimane said the money had since been paid back.
"That money was paid back," he said.
"I think the quantum [of the donation] was far less than that [the R400,000 which was reported] and at that point the donation had come from Sahara [a Gupta owned company]. The difficulty was that at that moment the issue was not about exchange of influence and favours … In fact we made it quite clear if I am not mistaken … the Guptas requested that Helen Zille [in her capacity as Western Cape Premier] give them a blue light brigade from the [Cape Town International] airport and she simply said ‘we refuse’.
"Their influence has now grown … they have captured [state owned entities] so much so they can offer millions to the [former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas] … without a doubt there can be no rationale of accepting any financing from them [the Guptas]. In fact I invest extraordinarily to make sure that anyone who donates money to the DA cannot request any favours," said Maimane.
A series of leaked e-mails have revealed how the Guptas have been looting state-owned entities since as far back as 2010, partly by putting in their cronies in strategic positions in government and parastatals.