Treasury hits back: Duarte will prove she did not offer Fin Minister job to Jonas
Johannesburg - National Treasury has broken its silence over claims that Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas was offered the position of Finance Minister in December.
In a statement on Monday, Treasury accused the Sunday Times of giving credence to rumours, saying it used too many anonymous sources for its articles.
The newspaper quoted sources within the Treasury on claims ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte offered Mr. Jonas the position, a week after the Gupta family allegedly tried to persuade him to take the offer.
Treasury called on the Sunday Times to provide evidence of the claims made in the report.
In a statement, the department said: "We challenge the Sunday Times to back up their claim and provide proof of such a source. Should such proof be provided, appropriate action against such officials will be taken."
It also said that none of the department's "senior officials were the source of its (the Sunday Times') story "that insinuates that the Deputy Secretary General of the African National Congress Ms Jessie Duarte, offered the Deputy Minister of Finance Mr Mcebisi Jonas, the finance minister position."
The Financial Times based in London, reported that Mr. Jonas turned down the Gupta's alleged offer of the same position in December, days before Nhlanhla Nene was fired. In response, representatives for the Gupta family -- whose friendly relationship with President Jacob Zuma has come under heavy criticism -- told News24 that business, not politics, was their primary focus in being in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Eyewitness News has reported that Ms. Duarte intends on submitting her phone records to the Press Ombudsman to prove that no offer was made to Jonas.
Mr. Nene's unexpected dismissal came a week after he halted a new Airbus deal devised by South African Airways Chair Dudu Myeni.
The Democratic Alliance has called on Mr. Jonas to break his silence.
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