'Brother Ace' gets a million - Tony Gupta allegedly tells Dukwana

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Former Free State economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana at the state capture inquiry. (Jeanette Chabalala/News24)
Former Free State economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana at the state capture inquiry. (Jeanette Chabalala/News24)

Rajesh "Tony" Gupta allegedly told former Free State MEC Mxolisi Dukwana that he was a trustworthy man who would drive to the house of ANC secretary general Ace Magashule and Duduzane Zuma, the son of the former president, to deliver a million rand in cash every month.

Dukwana was testifying at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday.

He told inquiry chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that Magashule introduced him to the controversial Gupta family, who are accused of using their relationship with former president Jacob Zuma to loot the state around 2012. 

He claimed that Magashule took him to the Guptas' home in Saxonwold in Johannesburg in 2012 under the pretence that they were going to attend a fundraising for the ANC in the Free State. At the time, Dukwana was the MEC for economic development and ANC treasurer in the Free State. 

Official letterhead

He said when they arrived at the Gupta family home, they were welcomed by Rajesh "Tony" Gupta who asked him to hand over his cellphone.

He said Gupta and Magashule then disappeared to another room and when they came back, Duduzane Zuma, Iqbal Sharma and other people accompanied them. 

"It then dawned on me that there was going to be a meeting," he said. 

Dukwana testified that he then looked Magashule straight in the eye, who was "just looking down". Dukwana told Zondo that he was told that he needed to sign a letter agreeing to put the Guptas in charge of a construction project.

He said the letter he was handed had his name on it, with an official letterhead giving the go ahead to two companies, named Nulane Investments 204 and P3 International.

But not only that, it also had the proper spelling of his name (Dukoana) on it, and not the "Dukwana" version which he uses professionally and on all government documents. Dukwana told the commission that the letter came with a sweetener.

READ: Guptaleaks: Ace Magashule, Mxolisi Dukwana and the R2m Gupta bribe

Dukwana said he was promised R2m upon signing the letter and R2m per month for the duration of the contract. 

He told the commission that Gupta gave him the  letter to sign and when he refused he said: "You know, I am trustworthy".

Dukwana told the the commission that Gupta said that he drove to "Brother Ace" "and I give him his million. The same with Duduzane. Isn't it so?".

Magashule and Duduzane, who were part of the meeting, confirmed this, he said.

"I looked at him (Tony) and thought this man does not know me, but he is giving me all this information about people," Dukwana testified.

The money allegedly came from the  Jagersfontein mine project.

'Nothing explosive'

Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with eNCA on Thursday, Magashule said Dukwana's testimony would not be explosive.

"Dukwana, what is explosive? Nothing explosive there," Magashule said when the news reporter asked him to comment ahead of Dukwana's testimony.

READ: Dukwana? Nothing explosive there, Magashule says ahead of state capture inquiry hearing

"You'll know all about him in due time," he said. He also dismissed similar claims by Thabo Manyoni, who was his former deputy in the ANC in the province.

Manyoni, who was also the mayor of Mangaung, has made claims about Magashule's relationship with the brothers since 2018, insisting he was also removed as mayor of Mangaung because he wouldn't agree to work with the family as Magashule had requested."

"Thabo Manyoni is a non-factor," Magashule said. 

The hearing continues.

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