Johannesburg – ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile has described a DA-sponsored advert, which has the words “ANC policy, proudly made in Dubai”, as an insult.
The advert was published on Sunday during the governing party’s national policy conference, held at Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg.
Speaking to News24, Mashatile described the advert as an insult to the hundreds of ANC members who were genuinely dealing with the issues affecting this country.
The DA’s national spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said the advert served as a message to South Africans that the country had been sold to the highest bidder, which was, in their opinion, the Gupta family.
“While the ANC puts up a front of consulting about the policy direction of the party, the truth of the matter is that it has sold South Africa to the highest bidder – the Guptas are the de facto rulers of both the ANC and the country,” Van Damme said.
She said South Africa needed to hit the reset button and realise that the governing party was “well and truly dead”.
The advert, which was published in a Sunday publication, appeared on the third day of the ANC’s six-day policy conference.
Heated debates were expected at the conference, with the party’s factions arguing over the definition of radical economic transformation and whether the domination of capital should be racially defined.
The party had spent the first two days of the conference assessing the “health” of the party after being rocked by several scandals, which include declining electoral support and calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down.
Following a number of court cases, marches by members of the public, as well as the recent release of emails linking certain government officials to the controversial Gupta family, Secretary General Gwede Mantashe told reporters that the issue of state capture would be discussed “candidly”.
City Press has previously reported that an email trail between the controversial Gupta family and their employees has blown the lid off how they had managed to do business with the government. The trail also revealed how the family ingratiated themselves with senior government officials, and go so far as to help move Zuma and his family to Dubai.
The publication also confirmed the address, an opulent mansion valued at R330m, which is owned by the controversial family. The palatial home is based in Dubai’s most expensive neighbourhood and is said to have had the most expensive asking price of any home in the entire United Arab Emirates at some point.
The information was revealed in the tranche of emails which implicated Zuma, his son and the family’s business partner Duduzane Zuma, as well as a number of ministers and heads of state-owned entities.
Mashatile insisted that only a few members of the party were perpetuating an image that the party was captured by the family, saying the ANC needed to deal with it quickly.
“There are a few people within our ranks who are creating this impression and the ANC leadership must move fast to deal with it. “There are no Guptas at this conference, we are not influenced by them, they are not being represented here.
“These are genuine members of the ANC from branches who are concerned by issues of state capture and the supposed influence of the Guptas. It’s not many members of the ANC who are creating this storm, it’s a few, and the ANC must deal with them.”