OVERVIEW: Maseko reveals how he faced off with Guptas, lost GCIS job to Manyi at #StateCaptureInquiry

2018-08-30 12:00

Former GCIS CEO Themba Maseko has wrapped up his testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture, and has been excused for now, but may return at a later stage.

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WATCH LIVE: #StateCaptureInquiry | Day 7

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

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Last Updated at 10:36
30 Aug 12:00

The commission adjourns for the day. 

30 Aug 11:58

30 Aug 11:40

Zondo thanks Maseko for his testimony and excuses him from the commission for now. He may have to return for cross-examination, as it is yet to be determined within the scope of this commission of inquiry. 

Zondo calls for the short adjournment. 

30 Aug 11:38

30 Aug 11:35

30 Aug 11:35

30 Aug 11:33

30 Aug 11:29

Maseko says his minister at the time, Chabane, made it very clear he did not agree with the decision to remove him from his post at GCIS, but Chabane told him he had to do "as his boss had instructed him".

30 Aug 11:22

30 Aug 11:19

30 Aug 11:18

Maseko now asked if he ever met with his replacement at GCIS, Jimmy Manyi, who Maseko says now goes by Mzwanele Manyi.

Maleka asks if there was any consultation between the two, when the role changed hands, and Maseko says he did not even have a chance to pack up his office. 

Maseko says he did not even have a chance to say goodbye to his staff. He had to exit the building.

30 Aug 11:16

30 Aug 11:15

Maseko tells the commission about how he was eventually pushed to the point where he had no choice but to exit public service.

30 Aug 11:14

30 Aug 11:14

Maleka asks Maseko if he was consulted about his removal from GCIS. Maseko says he was not consulted, and he was still on contract. 

Maseko confirms there was also no consultation between his minister at the time, Chabane, and the minister whose department he was redeployed to, Baloyi. Maseko says Baloyi expressed shock after he told him he was his new DG and wanted to meet. Baloyi was not impressed. 

Maseko concedes a number of procedures were not followed during this sudden redeployment.

30 Aug 11:06

30 Aug 11:06

30 Aug 11:05

30 Aug 11:05

Maseko tells the commission about how he was "redeployed" from GCIS. Says he was in a Cabinet meeting when he saw a news story on eNCA that he had lost his job, and he had no knowledge of it until he was able to leave the meeting and check on his phone.

Maseko says he eventually learned he was removed from GCIS and was replaced by Jimmy Manyi as the new government spokesperson and CEO of GCIS.

30 Aug 10:58

30 Aug 10:57

30 Aug 10:53

30 Aug 10:52

Maseko says after his call with Tony Gupta, where he said he would not be able to meet with him on Monday, he got a call from Ajay Gupta who told Maseko he heard that he was "being difficult". 

Maseko explains a very heated conversation between him and Ajay Gupta, where the Gupta brother basically threatened his job and demanded the meeting then take place the very next day, which was a Saturday, at the Saxonwold compound. Maseko was still at Sun City at the time, and Ajay Gupta told him he would be "dealt with".

"The conversation went south after that," says Maseko.

30 Aug 10:48

30 Aug 10:45

Maseko tells the commission about a phone call from someone with a "very strong Indian accent" who he learned was Tony (Rajesh) Gupta, who was in charge of the Guptas' media interests at the time.

30 Aug 10:44

Maseko now being asked about his trip to Sun City, which he says was to attend a golf tournament happening around that time. The Sun City connection is not lost on those present at the commission.

30 Aug 10:42

Maseko said in addition to deputy president at the time, Kgalema Motlanthe, and Frank Chikane, he also told Joel Netshitenzhe and Essop Pahad about his meeting with the Guptas. 

Maseko says Motlanthe expressed shock and surprise, and a bit of disappointment when he told them. They also told him the matter was being handled at the National Executive Committee (NEC) and that gave him some confidence. 

30 Aug 10:36

30 Aug 10:32

Maseko says he reported the incident to Rev Frank Chikane, and also to his minister at the time, the late Collins Chabane. Chabane told him he would sort it out.

30 Aug 10:30

30 Aug 10:29

30 Aug 10:29

Maseko says there were a lot of rumours in government corridors about ministers visiting the Saxonwold compound. Maseko says DGs were also meeting or summoned there. "I may not have proof of that, but the media covered it," says Maseko.

30 Aug 10:27

30 Aug 10:27

Maseko says Ajay Gupta told him that he had regular meetings with the president and ministers would be summoned to Saxonwold and be told what to do. 

Maseko: "Ajay Gupta was boasting about the frequency of meeting with the president. He said the president comes to their house for dinner once a week and ministers regularly come to the house."

30 Aug 10:21

Maseko says this is what Ajay Gupta said to him at the meeting, after Maseko had explained how the budgeting system works and that GCIS doesn't sit with the total amount in their budget: "If you want to do any business, you must go and talk to the individual departments - that's what I said to him. 

"And he just cut me short and said 'Listen, this is how things are going to work. You must go to all the departments, talk to the ministers, tell them to transfer the budgets into your account' - and by account, I think he means the GCIS account - 'and your only job is to make sure the money comes to me, and the New Age Newspaper'..."

30 Aug 10:15

Maseko says Ajay Gupta basically gave him an instruction to make it happen, to make sure that the R600m must go to the Guptas. 

30 Aug 10:14

30 Aug 10:14

Maseko: "So basically he wanted the R600-million to be spent on the Gupta TV station and newspaper."

30 Aug 10:13

30 Aug 10:13

Maseko: "So they are going to start with the newspaper, and they need the R600-million that GCIS is responsible for, that must be done through transferring all the funds and they will place adverts and write articles and just make sure that the government message is communicated properly."

30 Aug 10:12

Maleka summarises his meeting with Ajay Gupta. "There weren't too many pleasantries exchanged between us," he says. 

Maseko: "At the start of the meeting, Mr Ajay Gupta, he then started by telling me that they, as a family, are setting up a media company which will have a newspaper and a TV station, and key to their plan at the time was actually getting government support. 

"He did mention things that I've not covered here, that may not be relevant for today, but might be worth mentioning, was that he was aware that the ANC was also talking about setting up its own newspaper. But the ANC talks forever about things, they do things."  

30 Aug 10:11

30 Aug 10:04

Maseko says the meeting happened around September/October 2010, and Advocate Maleka remarks that he was the second person invited to the Gupta house around the same time. Vytjie Mentor was the other.

30 Aug 10:02

Maseko says after he pulled up at the Gupta residence he was told to park next to the door, and his car was driven away by security to be parked elsewhere.

Maseko says when he entered the mansion, he briefly saw Atul Gupta, who he recognised from pictures in the media. Atul said a few words to Ajay and left.

30 Aug 09:58

Maseko now at the point where he arrived at the Gupta home in Saxonwold. 

Maleka tells Maseko they have heard enough descriptions about the inside of the Gupta "compound", so he doesn't have to focus on that too much. 

Maseko laughs and says that's a good thing because describing the furniture is not his strength.

30 Aug 09:55

30 Aug 09:53

Maseko says the call with Zuma was very brief, lasted no longer than 90 seconds, so Zuma didn't explain in what way he wanted Maseko to help the Guptas. 

Maseko: It was "very clear the call was to give me a message". 

30 Aug 09:48

Maseko is asked if he could venture a guess as to why Zuma would speak to him in Zulu when they usually communicate officially in English, and Maseko offers his thoughts, but says maybe if Zuma ever came to testify at this commission, he could enlighten them further on that question. 

30 Aug 09:44

30 Aug 09:43

Maseko flagged the direct telephone call from Zuma as unusual. 

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