Rajesh Gupta denies speaking to Mcebisi Jonas – report
The Gupta brother reportedly says he only briefly walked into the room where Jonas was meeting Duduzane Zuma and businessman Fana Hlongwane.
Former deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas during a board meeting with South African Airways (SAA) on September 09, 2016 in Pretoria, South Africa. During the meeting, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the approval of R5 billion bailout application for the airline. Picture: Gallo Images
A Gupta brother, Rajesh, has denied speaking to former deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas though he admitted to being the Gupta brother present at the family’s Saxonwold compound when the former minister was allegedly offered an R600 million bribe and a ministerial position, Business Day reports.
During his testimony at the inquiry, Jonas could not identify which of the Gupta brothers, Ajay or Rajesh, had not only made the offers but had also threatened to use information in his position to destroy the former deputy minister’s political career before later threatening his life if he disclosed the meeting had taken place.
It has been reported that Rajesh Gupta said he had only spent a brief moment in the room where Jonas, Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane, and businessman Fana Hlongwane had met at the Gupta Saxonwold compound.
The Gupta brother reportedly said he had briefly walked into the room to check if the young Zuma would be available for the next day.
Rajesh Gupta was quoted as saying that neither did he introduce himself to people in the room nor take part in the meeting.
“I did not have any discussion with Mr Jonas at all‚” Rajesh Gupta was quoted as stating in an affidavit reportedly used for his dismissed application to cross-examine Jonas.
Zondo ruled that while the Guptas may cross-examine witnesses, including Jonas, ex-MP Vytjie Mentor, and fired government spin doctor Themba Maseko – they must do so in South Africa.
He, however, granted Duduzane Zuma leave to cross-examine Jonas.
The Gupta brother reportedly said Jonas’ testimony before the commission could have only been “an intentional fabrication”.
The commission of inquiry into state capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo resumes today with lawyer Brian Currin expected to testify.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) was picketing outside the venue of the inquiry calling on senior African National Congress (ANC) leaders implicated in state capture to testify before the commission.