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Ebrahim Patel has joined the long list of cabinet ministers under former president Jacob Zuma to confirm that he met the controversial Gupta family, but said it was only during public or official functions. “In the previous administration (2009-2014), members of the Gupta family were present at public or official functions or meetings that I attended, and as with other attendees, engaged with me at the events,” Patel said in a written reply in Parliament to a question from the DA. His response was published on Monday. Patel said he declined to meet the Guptas on other occasions. “In approximately late 2011, my office received a request from a member of the Gupta family to meet with me. As no information was provided to warrant a meeting with me, I declined the request and directed my office to refer them to meet with one of my officials instead, as is standard practice with many requests by business people for bilateral meetings. They did not take up the offer and no further effort ...

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