OVERVIEW: Ajay Gupta somehow knew about R600m GCIS budget - Maseko to #StateCaptureInquiry

2018-08-29 16:00

Former GCIS CEO Themba Maseko has testified at the commission of inquiry into state capture about his interaction with the Guptas, who sought support from government for their media 'project'.

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Last Updated at 17:34
29 Aug 16:01

Zondo consults with Maleka to ask how long he thinks this line of questioning could still go on, and they agree to postpone proceedings until tomorrow morning. 

Adjourned until 09:30 tomorrow morning.


29 Aug 15:57

Maseko says despite some reluctance, he eventually did go meet with Ajay Gupta at the Saxonwold residence a week or so after he received the call. 

Maseko says he did not think too much about the choice of venue, because "of the type of person" that he was. Maseko says for that reason it didn't matter where the meeting took place. 

Zondo and Maleka continue to question Maseko about whether or not that is normal business practice. 

Maseko says at that particular time he did not see anything "untoward" about the meeting venue.


29 Aug 15:51

Maseko, when asked, places his meeting with Ajay Gupta around May/June/July in 2010, says he doesn't have access to his GCIS diary so doesn't have exact dates.


29 Aug 15:49

29 Aug 15:48

Maleka asks Maseko if he knows when The New Age newspaper was launched, and Maseko says 2010. 

Maseko says Ajay Gupta told him over the phone that he needed government support for their project to succeed, and Ajay wanted to meet face to face to discuss the project. 

Maseko clarifies that it was part of his role to meet with all media owners, and editors and journalists.


29 Aug 15:41

29 Aug 15:40

Maseko says he had interacted with Ajay Gupta in his capacity as a board member of Brand SA. Maseko also says his cellphone number was out in the public, so it would have been easy for Gupta to get it.


29 Aug 15:39

29 Aug 15:34

The R600-million amount is confirmed as the "media buying" budget, or advertising spend, for different departments in government. Maseko says the head of department and minister would know about the budget, but it wasn't a figure that would be published in the public domain. It would only have been known internally at GCIS.


29 Aug 15:26

29 Aug 15:25

Maseko explains the operational budget of GCIS was R480-million per annum, and the R600-million amount is money the GCIS spends on behalf of other departments.

Maseko had told the Public Protector that Ajay Gupta mentioned a budget of R600-million to him, which surprised Maseko.


29 Aug 15:21

29 Aug 15:20

29 Aug 15:20

Maseko says he received a call from Hawks spokesperson Mulaudzi, who he knew, saying they were worried about the Sunday Times article and would put him in touch with Godfrey Lebeya at the Hawks.

Maseko says Lebeya asked him for details of the investigation, and asked him where the meeting took place. Hawks had no records of this investigation against him. Maseko says Lebeya also did not seem to recognise the names of the men, but Lebeya later confirmed the men were indeed employees of the Hawks, in a separate division.


29 Aug 15:09

29 Aug 15:08

29 Aug 15:08

Maleka, reading from the Sunday Times report, says "Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said he was not aware of the investigation"... 

Maseko expresses shock at this, because he believed the people he met with were from the Hawks. 


29 Aug 15:02

29 Aug 15:02

Maseko's attorney, Tyrone Maseko (no relation, says Maseko), had asked the Hawks for an update on the Public Works contract investigation. He says they still don't have an update.


29 Aug 14:57

29 Aug 14:57

29 Aug 14:54

29 Aug 14:54

Maseko is referred to a Sunday Times article relating to a call he received from the Hawks regarding a matter surrounding Public Works. It had nothing to do with the first matter, but related to the procurement of IT equipment during his tenure as DG of Public Works. Maseko says he was asked if he brought his lawyer with, and he says he didn't have a lawyer at the time.


29 Aug 14:46

Maseko was told by the Hawks that they were looking to charge former president Zuma and Ajay Gupta, around April 2018. He was later told they were not following through.


29 Aug 14:44

Maseko says after he contacted the Hawks on the number provided, they met and he submitted an affidavit on June 22, 2017, as part of the Hawks' investigation into state capture.

Maseko says Govender sought affidavits from Maseko on two occasions, and the second affidavit confirmed the details of the first.


29 Aug 14:41

29 Aug 14:41

Maseko: "I happen to be one of those people who play a game called 'Twitter', and in my timeline I got what is called a 'DM', for your benefit chairperson, this is a direct message..." 

Zondo laughs. "Well, I need that explanation, yes." 

Maseko: "I was going through my Twitter messages and I got a direct message from a person who identified themselves as Captain Govender, who requested me to call him as a matter of urgency because the Hawks were doing an investigation in which he thought I could be of assistance to them..." 

Maseko says this person left him a number via DM that he called.


29 Aug 14:34

29 Aug 14:32

Maseko says the approach by the Gupta family was inappropriate when they made demands and summoned him to their home and threatened that if he doesn't do what they say, he will be dealt with.


29 Aug 14:27

Maleka brings Maseko back to the document he prepared for a meeting with the Public Protector. Maseko says he submitted the document via email after the meeting.



29 Aug 14:22

29 Aug 14:20

Proceedings resume. Advocate Maleka is still leading evidence with Maseko, who corrects an earlier error he made regarding who the deputy president was in 2016. 


29 Aug 14:19

29 Aug 13:29

READ IN FULL: Vytjie Mentor's statement from the commission of inquiry into state capture

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29 Aug 13:18

Proceedings adjourn for the lunch break and will resume within the hour.


29 Aug 13:17

29 Aug 13:16

Maleka asks Maseko if he could indicate persons, even in confidence to the commission, who he believes has information that could assist the commission.

Maseko: "I am convinced that there are a number of senior public servants, middle managers, who have had experiences with a number of individuals, including the Gupta family, but it could also be pertaining to the conduct and behaviour of their political bosses, ministers and MECs and premiers, who have information, who may be willing to give that information to your commission. 

"But it is my honest view that the reason why they may not be able to come through is because of fear of reprisals, loss of jobs, and generally the country's, maybe unwillingness, or inability to support those who are willing to come forward and give information. 

"I may not be able to give you names as we are sitting here, but even in the process leading to the drafting of this memorandum by directors general, a number of serving DGs had come forward..." 


29 Aug 13:05

29 Aug 13:05

Maseko says he made contact with ANC secretary general at the time, Gwede Mantashe, and told him that he was willing to be a participant in the process. He says he prepared a statement and hand-delivered it to him.


29 Aug 13:01

29 Aug 13:01

29 Aug 13:00

29 Aug 12:56

29 Aug 12:56

Maseko tells Maleka that the memo was confined to former DGs of the post-apartheid era because they shared a common vision and comradeship. They had come together to share their concerns about what was happening, and Maseko says they had never meant to exclude anyone.


29 Aug 12:50

Maseko confirms that Jacob Zuma was the president at the time that the memorandum was sent, and says Kgalema Motlanthe was deputy. Maseko says the presidency confirmed receipt of the memorandum.


29 Aug 12:43

The statement in question, as mentioned by Maseko. The statement was signed by many high-ranking officials, including Reverend Frank Chikane. 



29 Aug 12:38

Maleka directs Maseko's attention to a document before him. Maseko confirms it is a statement compiled by former DGs of state entities who raised concerns about state capture.


29 Aug 12:36

29 Aug 12:35

Maseko was the first person to implicate Jacob Zuma in allegations of state capture.


29 Aug 12:34

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