South African ANC’s Mantashe bemoans damage on party by leaked emails

PUBLISHED: Wed, 07 Jun 2017 13:40:33 GMT

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party is being damaged by leaked emails alleging fraud in the awarding of state contracts, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday.

AmaBhungane, a non-profit group that has a strong track record of exposing what its says is government corruption, last week released some of more than 100,000 leaked emails and documents.

It said the emails show companies owned by the Gupta family unduly influence the awarding of government contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Reuters was not able to independently verify the allegations.

President Jacob Zuma has denied wrongdoing and the Gupta family and its companies have also denied all allegations of influence-peddling or improper dealings.

Mantashe’s comments come six months before the ANC, Nelson Mandela’s erstwhile liberation movement that has ruled since the end of apartheid in 1994, holds a conference where members will choose a successor to Zuma.

He said the debate about removing the 75-year old leader would become “less complex” when a new ANC leader is chosen at the party conference in December.

Zuma, who has survived two no-confidence votes within the party in the last six months, can stay in power until a 2019 election.

(Reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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