NEWS

Cabinet: Those Implicated In The Gupta Leaks Are 'Innocent Until Proven Guilty'

It also made a link between the emails and fake news.

08/06/2017 14:47 SAST | Updated 08/06/2017 14:47 SAST
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Ajay and Atul Gupta and Duduzane Zuma.

Cabinet says it is "concerned" about leaked emails allegedly demonstrating the influential Gupta family's hold over President Jacob Zuma, government, state-owned enterprises and politicians -- but stressed people are innocent until proven guilty.

MInisters met on Wednesday, and on Thursday, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said in a statement: "Cabinet has noted with serious concern the media reports on the 'leaked emails' that are purported to implicate ministers, officials and private individuals in alleged wrongdoing.

"Cabinet remains fully committed to good governance and, at the same time, it also notes that all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in terms of our Constitution."

She urged those with information about state capture to come forward.

"Cabinet is aware that some cases have been opened and urged everyone with information about wrongdoing by government officials or ministers to inform law enforcement agencies.

"All who are affected by the emails are urged to co-operate with the law-enforcement agencies."

President Zuma denied the allegation in the Sunday Times that he owned a R330 million mansion in Dubai bought for him by the Guptas, said Dlodlo.

"President Zuma has rebutted the allegation that was published by a Sunday newspaper that he owns a house in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates."

Read: Zuma Denies Dubai Reports, Malema Says He Warned SA In April 2016

The section of the statement dealing with the leaked emails follows a section dealing with fake news.

"Cabinet calls on South Africans to be vigilant of fake news, in particular the increase in false posts on social media over missing, kidnapped and abducted girls and women," reads the statement.

The statement attributes the recent outbreak of violence in KwaMashu to fake news. Foreign-owned shops were reportedly looted amid what police say are false reports that children were being kidnapped for the sale of their body parts.

Watch: What The KwaMashu Riot Tells Us About The Dangers of Fake News

It also pointed out that the alleged abduction of a girl in Naledi, Soweto by people in a Toyota Quantum with the registration number included that went viral on social media, was later found to be untrue.

"These hoaxes, fake news and the dissemination of false information cause panic among our communities and waste time and resources of the police. We appeal to people not to repost and disseminate fake news on social media, until they have verified the authenticity."

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