Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has spoken out for the first time about the so-called Gupta leaks, calling the allegations common lies and saying he is being targeted because he is black.
Zwane, who was speaking on the side-lines of a Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council workshop at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria, said he was happy that Parliament was dealing with the issue and that people should not be labelled based on allegations.
"So we will not be deterred whether they want to call us this or that, it's fine. But it's painful because it always happens to black people," said Zwane.
"I think South Africans must learn to respect each other if there is an issue, the issue must be addressed rather than beginning to label people on allegations."
In the so-called Gupta leaks, emails show that the controversial Gupta family were sent Zwane's CV a month before he was appointed minister of mineral resources, as well as that he took a trip to India on a Gupta plane where the Guptas picked up the bill for his accommodation.
Zwane, who challenged the authenticity of the emails, said he has never seen any of the emails.
"I have not even seen one email. It would have been nice if these people who are alleging would actually post the emails to the papers so that we know what they are talking about. I've never even seen a single one of them, they are so fortunate to see what I don't know."
Zwane said he was happy that Parliament was dealing with the issues of the emails.
He added that people should stop making allegations and should stop judging people before a court of law has done so.