News24

Feb 02 2017 11:55

Liesl Peyper

AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana. (News24)

Cape Town – Save SA convenor Sipho Pityana said National Treasury “is the last frontier between [President Jacob] Zuma and unfettered access to the coffers of the state of this country” in an address at the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday.

Pityana, who is also chairperson of AngloGold Ashanti, said “Zuma and his cronies’ attempts to loot the fiscus are frustrated by National Treasury”.

“When our National Treasury is overrun it will be game over for South Africa,” he said. “If you have no sense of what a nuclear deal will mean for SA, think about this: we’ll work for the Russians for the rest of our lives. Our children would be slaves of the Russians.

“When Project State Capture is complete, our state-owned entities will provide unfettered access to state resources for Zuma and his cronies and family members,” he said.

“There is a Cabinet lekgotla currently taking place, but will the real issues be addressed?” he asked. “Such as the hard questions about why the FIC Bill was sent back on the flimsiest of grounds. Or why the president pushes for the black industrialists programme, yet the richest of them all is his friend Ajay Gupta.”

Atul Gupta, Ajay’s brother and chairperson at Oakbay Resources and Energy, is wealthier than Richemont chairperson Johann Rupert. He is also a close friend to Zuma.

This is according to the Business Times Rich List 2016, released last year. According to the report by Sunday Times, Atul Gupta is the seventh wealthiest South African and the top earning black businessman.

WATCH: Treasury is the last hurdle to state capture – Pityana

Pityana said “the Cabinet lekgotla should also demand that firm steps be taken to defend South Africa’s sovereignty from forces who are hellbent on undermining it”.

Business Day reported on Thursday that Zuma “could be ‘preparing the ground’ to remove Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is battling Jacob Zuma’s family friends, the Guptas”.

An unnamed source, referring to Zuma’s speech at the three-day ANC lekgotla last week, told the paper that Zuma criticised Treasury “for not availing funds for certain projects, saying his ministers constantly complained about being inadequately resourced by the Treasury to carry out their mandates”.

Vytjie Mentor, who claimed the Guptas offered her a Cabinet post, was also at the Press Club. This is what she said: