News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
7 Oct 2019
5:09 pm

Duduzane Zuma says he has been placed as a ‘couch’ or ‘lampshade’ at the scene of crimes

Makhosandile Zulu

The former president's son says Tony Gupta is one of his business associates and close friends.

Former president Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane Zuma, testifies at the State Capture Commission in Parktown, 7 October 2019. Picture: Neil McCartney

Former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane has concluded his testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture, where he said he found it interesting that a number of witnesses before the inquiry had placed him at different meetings as a “couch” or “lampshade”.

“I’m being placed on the scene of the crime,” Duduzane said as he was expected to respond to testimony either implicating or mentioning him at the commission chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

On Monday, Duduzane responded to testimony by former finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, former Free State economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana, Former public service minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head General Johan Booysen, and former Africa News Network (ANN7) television editor Rajesh Sundaram.

Following the lunch adjournment, Duduzane urged the commission to investigate an allegation by Dukwana that during a meeting attended by him, former president Zuma, Tony Gupta and former Free State premier Ace Magashule, in which Gupta allegedly said Duduzane, among others, received a monthly payout from a mining venture.

Duduzane had earlier denied being present at the meeting as Dukwana had testified.

Sundaram had told Zondo of four meetings involving former president Zuma, Duduzane and the Guptas, Ashu Chalwa and Nazeem Howa among others.

“I only attended one of those, that was in Midrand [at ANN7 studios],” Duduzane said.

Sundaram’s evidence at the commission painted a picture of the former president being active in the establishment of the news channel, saying there was a conflict of interest because his son owned 30% shares in Infinity Media, which founded the news channel, and the company expected to secure advertising from the government.

The former president had not disputed playing an instrumental role in the establishment of the news channel when he appeared before the commission.

The young Zuma denied being “particularly close” to Chalwa, as Sundaram had said in testimony, saying they only had business relations.

The young Zuma also said Sundaram’s comments that Chalwa had been the Guptas’ “point man” in relation to the former president were also not correct.

Duduzane said it should not be an issue that ANN7 had secured government advertising, which is to be expected for any startup.

Duduzane said in some of the testimony it had been said that he did not play an active role in some of the meetings, because at the time he had “limited his role” in various business ventures.

Duduzane also denied being a co-complainant in an online fraud scam as Booysen had testified and said he had met the policeman several times on a social basis.

Booysen told Zondo of a meeting with Tony Gupta facilitated by Duduzane, at which the Gupta brother had allegedly said they should have supper should he be successful for his interview as head of the Hawks.

Duduzane told the commission that him taking Booysen to meet Gupta had been a result of the policeman being inquisitive about the Guptas, and so it was planned that they would meet.

Duduzane said Tony Gupta was a business partner and is a close friend that he spent a lot of time with, “that’s my guy”.

Duduzane said he could not recall sending Ramatlhodi a congratulatory message following his ministerial appointment, however, he said it could be possible that he did.

He said, however, he does not recall meeting with Ramatlhodi as the former minister had testified, saying at the meeting the young Zuma had spoken about allegations that Ramatlhodi was bad mouthing the president’s son and his business associates.

“The position, chair, is that I’m denying [what Ramatlhodi said],” Duduzane said.

Duduzane said he does not know how Jonas could have known about his property in Dubai, but said his wealth and other matters have been publicised extensively in the media.

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