This week, Business Day revealed how Nedbank’s CE Mike Brown had exposed the Gupta’s intervention in the inter-ministerial committee tasked with establishing why their bank account was closed.
“PRO-GUPTA DELEGATES. Nedbank CEO reveals details of Gupta intervention” the headline read.
The article went on to say that Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi had met Brown accompanied by two of her advisors, Mzwanele Manyi and Sandile Nene despite not being part of the the inter-ministerial committee.
The committee was established to look into why all four major banks had within days of each other, cancelled the Gupta Oakbay accounts.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who was appointed as a three-member team to look into the matter, went to a court of law seeking a declaratory order that he couldn’t intervene in the matter.
Brown, Business Day said, had supported Pravin’s legal action with an affidavit which included an e-mail in which “Brown’s personal assistant requested the names and titles of the government officials who had attended the meeting on May 6”.
But why would Brown ask for the names of people with whom he had met? Would there have been no minutes with a register of the people that attended?
Nonetheless, the paper used this list from Zarina Kellerman, of the Department of Mineral Resources and secretary of the committee, which included Manyi.
The article needed to place a Gupta delegate at the meeting and Manyi was described as someone “who had been running a campaign in support of the Guptas”. Manyi is President of the Progressive Professionals forum and has recently established the Decolonisation Foundation.
On publishing the article, Manyi was quick to challenge it.
A Business Day reporter, Carol Paton, responded:
Dear Mzwanele not our lies. Min Zwane’s secretary Zarina put you at the meeting. Take it up with her
By that afternoon, BusinessDay had retracted its lie but still had to keep the gist of its story.
Another clarification by the newspaper. Nedbank was not aware of those who attended: “The list we received was attached to the affidavit and incorrectly reflected Minister Olifant as being present at the meeting. The list may therefore have contained additional errors but Nedbank focused on the aspect of whether or not there was a quorum,” it said.
And so what does this mean in terms of the accuracy of both the article and Brown’s affidavit?
And what of the gist of the story itself – that there was Gupta interference in the inter-ministerial committe? There was no Manyi, who is the only person in the story identified as a Gupta Delegate.
You make up your mind! Legitimate mistake or just plain FAKE NEWS!