BARNEY MTHOMBOTHI: The slow unravelling of Gwede Mantashe
'Mantashe had apparently swallowed Bell Pottinger's propaganda hook, line and sinker'
All along Mantashe had given an impression that he was no friend of the Guptas, Zuma's benefactors. In fact he was the first to make a fuss when a Gupta plane carrying a wedding party landed at Waterkloof Air Force Base. His intervention led to the appointment of an inter-ministerial task team to investigate. But that was merely to pull the wool over the public's eyes. Senior party officials, including Mantashe, knew more than they were letting on. We were to learn later that even the wedding was funded from the public purse.
And when former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and Themba Maseko and others made serious allegations of impropriety against the Guptas, Mantashe called on them to hand him the evidence so he could investigate. The probe was stillborn. His intention was to sweep everything under the carpet. We now know why. He, like Zuma, was not only in the Guptas' pocket; he was a willing hand in capturing the state.