#StateCaptureInquiry: Duduzane Zuma gives his version of what meeting with Jonas was about

2018-09-28 20:22
Duduzane Zuma. (Gulshan Khan, AFP)

Duduzane Zuma. (Gulshan Khan, AFP)

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Duduzane Zuma, the son of the former president, has dismissed claims made by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas that a ministerial post was offered to him at the Gupta compound in Saxonwold, Johannesburg in October 2015.

Zuma said in an affidavit to the state capture commission of inquiry that he met with Jonas because there were rumours that Jonas claimed that businessman Fana Hlongwane had blackmailed him.

"These rumours were regarded as very serious," he said.

"When these rumours started to surface, Mr Hlongwane, in discussion with me, decided to set up a meeting with Mr Jonas in an attempt to clear it up. I met Jonas for the first time at Hyatt Hotel (in Rosebank) as arranged via telephone discussing/SMS exchanges between us."

Zuma said the meeting moved to the Gupta residence and that Jonas did not object, express any reservations or display any discomfort about having the meeting there at any stage.

He said there were no discussion at that meeting about the removal of the finance minister at the time.

"My observation during the meeting was that both Mr Jonas and Mr Hlongwane ventilated and discussed the rumours of the blackmail allegations, and eventually reached a stage where although it was not fully resolved, the dust settled between them, so to speak, and they agreed that if any further issues arise, that they would arrange further follow-up meetings in that regard."

He said at some stage during the meeting, Rajesh Gupta "quickly peered into the lounge where the meeting was held and called me to him to confirm my availability for a meeting to be held the next day".

Rajesh Gupta also confirmed this in his own affidavit, which was submitted to the inquiry.

READ: Ajay Gupta on Jonas finance minister offer claim: 'I was not even present'

During his testimony in August, Jonas delivered bombshell after bombshell as he explained the chronology of events of state capture as he experienced it.

He told the commission that one of the Gupta brothers threatened to kill him should any details of the infamous meeting between him (Jonas), Duduzane Zuma and Hlongwane ever become public.

However, Hlongwane also hit back at Jonas in his own affidavit, which was also submitted to the commission.

He said: "The untrue allegations by Mr Jonas have very serious and detrimental consequences for me.

"It will not only further impugn my reputation and dignity, but will also have a very detrimental effect on my fundamental rights as provided for in our Constitution.

"These allegations seemed incredible and completely at odds with our relationship and the true facts. In view of our relationship, I was very perturbed by the allegations and decided to address the issue."

Hlongwane denied that Ajay Gupta was present at that meeting or that any of the Gupta family members had participated in the discussion.

He also stated that he had not met Ajay at that stage. Hlongwane said in his affidavit that a member of the Gupta family entered the room briefly but left immediately.

"This was definitely not Mr Ajay Gupta. I don't know the identity of the person who briefly entered the room," he said.

Hlongwane also said he had noticed that former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor implicated him during her testimony as well.

"I wish to categorically deny all these allegations made by the mentioned witness insofar as it relates to me and wish to inform the commission that I will be able to demonstrate that through cross-examination."

Read more on:    duduzane zuma  |  mcebisi jonas  |  gupta family  |  state capture inquiry

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