Gupta-linked Oakbay Investments issued a press statement in March 2016, claiming that “absolutely no meeting took place” between former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and businessman Fana Hlongwane at Saxonwold on October 23, 2015.
The statement contradicts evidence which Duduzane Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma, gave about the meeting at the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday.
Zuma was an Oakbay shareholder at the time of the meeting.
“If you look at line three in bold, the statement is on behalf of the Gupta family. If that’s what they’re saying, that’s what they are saying. I have already said none of them were part of the meeting.
“This statement cannot be attributed to me,” Zuma testified on Monday.
Evidence leader, advocate Phillip Mokoena SC, probed why Jonas would go to “such lengths to fabricate lies against him”.
Mokoena SC was referring to Jonas’ claims that Zuma drove him to the Saxonwold compound on that infamous day where he was allegedly offered R600 million to accept the post of finance minister.
“When you asked him, what did he say? Because I cannot answer,” Zuma said in response.
“I have no idea, I do not want to jump to speculation. Another question that should be asked is why was my view or version not requested?
“This is the first time I am being asked these questions. I was not given an opportunity by the public protector.”
Zuma then raised the issue of fairness after he was presented with a series of questions relating to a contradictory version of the events of October 23, 2015.
“The first question I am getting is why others said this. No one asks my version of events,” he said calmly.
Commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo explained: “When he asks this question, he is actually saying if there is something you know that would motivate him to say this. It is not anything else.”
Zuma responded: “I raise this because, why was I not invited when I am integral to this and a whole report was released implicating me?”
In light of the serious allegations Jonas made against Zuma, Mokoena probed whether he explored any avenues against Jonas, such as opening a case, a lawsuit or approaching the ANC’s headquarters at Luthuli House.
Zuma responded: “No.”
“So you did nothing?” Mokoena asked.
“Neither did he,” Zuma countered.
The inquiry continues.