Mbeki stands by statement that he never introduced the Guptas to Zuma

Former presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki during the funeral service of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. (Gallo Images / Frennie Shivambu)
Former presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki during the funeral service of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. (Gallo Images / Frennie Shivambu)

Former president Thabo Mbeki says he stands by a statement issued by his foundation in 2016 that he did not introduce his successor Jacob Zuma to the controversial Gupta family. 

The 2016 statement was issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation after Mpho Masemola, an Ex-Political Prisoners Association representive told eNCA that the Gupta family had not come with Zuma but was introduced to the infamous former president by Mbeki and minister in the presidency Essop Pahad.

"For the record, President Mbeki did not, at any point, introduce the Gupta family to president Zuma.

"Even if it were true that president Mbeki had introduced the Gupta family to president Zuma, unless it is alleged and proven that he did so with an improper motive, he would not be held responsible for whatever may or may not have transpired thereafter between president Zuma and the Gupta family. For Masemola to suggest otherwise is, in fact, to accuse president Zuma of lacking the capacity to make his own ethical judgements," the statement read. 

On Monday Zuma testified at the Zondo inquiry looking into state capture that Mbeki and former president Nelson Mandela were also acquainted with the Gupta family. 

Read the full transcript of Zuma's opening statement at Zondo

In his testimony Zuma denied any existence of state capture saying that he was a victim of a conspiracy that dates back to the early 1990s to discredit him.

Zuma said he first met the Gupta family after they had met with Mbeki. It eventually grew from their relationship as comrades having worked under Mandela, said Zuma.

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