The Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, will reportedly take office this morning at National Treasury.
The minister tried to restore confidence and calm following his shock midnight appointment.
However, there is a strong impression that President Jacob Zuma appointed the minister with the Guptas’ “stamp of approval” and that the minister is close to the Guptas.
The impression was re-enforced when the minister reportedly zig-zagged his way around hard questions about his relationship with the Guptas at his maiden press conference on the weekend.
The minister can run but he cannot hide from hard questions about his relationship with the Guptas.
That is why the minister should act in the best interests of National Treasury and issue a public statement:
- setting out all the facts including the details of every meeting, every decision, and every gift ever received from or relating to the Guptas; and
- reassuring the public that he is committed to serving the public interest rather than the private interests of the Guptas.
If the minister continues to zig-zag his way around the hard questions, he will be responsible for compromising the institutional integrity of National Treasury.
And the one thing that we simply cannot afford is for the whiff of corruption and maladministration to waft around National Treasury.