The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Mr Des van Rooyen has noted with concern media reports alleging that he misled Parliament.
“It is concerning that I heard this rumour of a report through the media which was supposedly published on Friday (09 February 2018) and was never forwarded to me or being alerted of it even I am cited in it”, said Minister van Rooyen.
Minister van Rooyen made it clear that neither he nor his deputy ministers have ever met in their official capacities in government with members, employees and/or close associates of the Gupta family.
This was in response to a Parliamentary question posed by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen in 2016:
“Has (a) he and/or (b) his Deputy Minister ever
- (i) met with any (aa) member, (bb) employee and/or (cc) close associate of the Gupta family and/or
- (ii) attended any meeting with the specified persons (aa) at the Gupta’s Saxonwold Estate in Johannesburg or (bb) anywhere else since taking office? if not, that is the position regard; if so, in each specified case, (aaa) what are the names of the persons who were present at each meeting , (bbb)(aaaa) when and (bbbb) where did each such meeting take place and (ccc) what was the purpose of each specified meeting”.
Minister Van Rooyen has never disputed that he met anyone associated with the Gupta family outside of his portfolio. As a treasurer general of the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) part of his responsibilities is to engage the business community to enlist their support into various programmes they are undertaking. “It is in that capacity that I have met the members of the Gupta family”, said Minister.
The Minister responded to the questions by the public protector emphasising the distinction between his capacity as the Minister and as a treasurer general of the MKMVA.
The office of the Public Protector is important and integral to our democratic society and its growth. It is however disappointing that this office err in its final report, which Minister has thus far not seen yet.
“It is therefore surprising now that I would be accused of having deliberately misled Parliament when I answered the questions I was asked”, said Minister.
Minister emphasised that he has always been and will continue to be a disciplined member of the Executive and will not deliberately violate the Executive Ethics Act and the Constitution.
Head of Communications: CoGTA
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