Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
2 minute read
3 Apr 2019
9:34 pm

Zondo to hear new evidence against Ace, Guptas

Brian Sokutu

Former Free State economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana testimony is said to be directly linking him to the infamous Gupta family.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency

Embattled ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is set to be confronted by fresh evidence as former Free State economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana testifies on Friday at the the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Dukwana’s testimony, said to be directly linking him to the infamous Gupta family, includes cellphone records expected to shed more light into how Magashule introduced Dukwana to Tony Gupta in 2011 at the family’s Saxonwold compound.

He was allegedly offered R2 million on the spot, as well as a further R2 million monthly fee in exchange for his signature on a document that would have authorised a R41.8 billion investment government deal.

The contract would have ensured that the Guptas built a “New City” in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality in the Free State.

Dukwana was fired by Magashule in 2012, for declining the Gupta offer that would have seen the Gupta-linked Nulane Management Services appointed as turnkey agent for the project.

Dukwana is said to have told the Guptas that signing off on the deal was the responsibility of department head Thuso Ramaema, whom the family wanted fired and replaced by the pliant former public enterprises director-general Richard Seleke. Seleke’s name has cropped up in previous hearings.

Ramaema later left the department to take up a post at the Free State Development Corporation, with Seleka replacing him as head.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has recently stepped in to ensure the Free State government provided Dukwana with all the information required in preparation for his testimony.

Last September, National Treasury accounting officer Jan Gilliland revealed before the commission that the Free State government, under Magashule, paid up to R79.3 million for placing adverts in the Gupta-owned Infinity Media and New Age Media between 2011 and 2018.

This week has seen Magashule battling to shrug off shocking claims contained in a new book, Gangster State, Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture, with allegations of his involvement in corruption, gangsterism and his exaggerated struggle credentials.

Other claims in the book are that in 2013, Magashule introduced former Mangaung mayor Thabo Manyoni to Atul Gupta at the family’s Saxonwold compound.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.