02/06/2017 13:22 SAST | Updated 02/06/2017 13:48 SAST

The ANC Says Gupta Emails Call Into Question 'Integrity' Of Government, Calls For Probe

"The ANC calls on government to urgently seek to establish the veracity of these claims and explanation from those implicated."

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

The ANC has finally stepped into the Gupta emails scandal, calling on government to urgently look into their accuracy and demand answers from those implicated.

In a statement issued on Friday, the party said it viewed the leaked emails, which reveal the extent to which politicians and parastatals have been captured by the Gupta family, in a "very serious light".

"These reports contain very worrying claims about the nature of the relationship between government and private interests", said the statement.

"The ANC views these allegations in a very serious light as if left unattended, they call into question the integrity and credibility of the government and the use of state resources under the direction of or to the benefit of private interests.

"Such matters cannot be allowed to fester in the public domain. Accordingly, the African National Congress calls on government to urgently seek to establish the veracity of these claims and explanation from those implicated.

"The ANC further reiterates the resolution of the National Executive Committee calling for the establishment of a Judicial Commission of Enquiry into allegations of state capture without delay."

On Thursday, new information decoded from thousands of emails between the Guptas and their associates revealed the extent to which the family exerts control over the state and state-owned companies.

A series of stories by amaBhungane and Scorpio give explosive details into deals between the Guptas and Chinese-owned companies vying for South African contracts, how politicians and state officials assist the Guptas in these deals and the benefits they receive in return.

"The emails suggest the day-to-day work of government has moved to a shadowy network. If true, they reveal the handing over of government functions to these networks. The emails are of huge historical and political significance. It suggests the ANC is effectively not in power and that several ministers have deferred their powers," Ivor Chipkin executive director of the Public Affairs Research Institute, which is part of the State Capacity Research Group, previously told HuffPost SA.