Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA
Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA

Deputy President David Mabuza says the fact that the Guptas once airlifted him to medical help in Russia does not mean he owes them anything and he wants them "brought to book".

Mabuza made the remarks in the National Assembly while responding to questions from MPs on what the government was doing to tackle board members of state-owned entities who had been implicated in state capture.

EFF MP Hlengiwe Hlophe-Maxon asked Mabuza what he was doing to assist law enforcement to trace the Gupta family, "who arranged a Gupta jet for you to go to Russia".

Mabuza flew to Russia in a Gupta-linked jet in 2015 to receive medical care following allegations of poisoning.

Mabuza said the government would trace the Guptas wherever they might be hiding. The fact that they had once assisted him did not mean he owed them any favours, he said.

"I’m confident no one will escape this process."

"Honourable member, rest assured‚ when I’ve been given a lift to hospital does not mean the Guptas‚ if they’ve done something wrong‚ they should not be brought to book. If they’ve done something wrong they will [be]."

Asked by DA MP Natasha Mazzone if the executive was in a position to assist Parliament with issuing summonses to the Guptas‚ who are said to be in Dubai‚ Mabuza said: "There should be a way of sensitising those countries."

He said Eskom had instituted at least eight disciplinary hearings against senior managers, but these had been aborted when most of the implicated parties had chosen to resign.

Mabuza said the government was still reviewing the criteria followed to appoint board members, and President Cyril Ramaphosa would soon announce the establishment of a council on state-owned entities.