South Africa: FinMin under fire for visiting Gupta home

By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG (AA) – South Africa’s finance minister is facing increasing pressure from the opposition to resign after he revealed that he had visited the home of the controversial Indian Gupta family who is accused of corruption.

Last week, Nhlanhla Nene told a commission of inquiry probing corruption involving the Gupta family and former president Jacob Zuma that he had visited their home in Johannesburg.

The Guptas are alleged to have influenced Zuma to hire ministers and funnel lucrative government contracts. Several ministers are believed to have advanced the business interests of the Guptas who were close friends of Zuma.

Zuma resigned from office in April following pressure from his ruling African National Congress amid accusations of corruption.

"It is now time for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step up and break his silence, and tell us whether Nhlanhla Nene has his full support ahead of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement," main opposition Democratic Alliance said in a statement Monday.

Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party, has also called for Nene’s resignation, saying his credibility has been compromised.

However, Nene says he made a misjudgment by meeting one of the Gupta brothers at their home instead of his office.

He denied during his testimony at the commission that he had done any favor for the Guptas.

Nene issued a public apology on Friday saying, "I was wrong in meeting the Guptas at their residence and not in my office or at least a public place.

"I am human too, I do make mistakes, including those of poor judgment."