#StateCaptureInquiry: ‘Hawks tried to kill Gupta case’— Jonas

Mcebisi Jonas says he was not shocked at the Hawks’ attempt to sabotage the case. (Oupa Nkosi/M&G)

Mcebisi Jonas says he was not shocked at the Hawks’ attempt to sabotage the case. (Oupa Nkosi/M&G)

A senior Hawks official attempted to “kill the case” against the Guptas. This is one of the bombshell allegations revealed by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas at the third day of the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday.

Jonas, led by advocate Phillip Mokoena, was asked to outline the events preceding his axing from his position as deputy finance minister. Jonas’s testimony covered the days leading up to a meeting between him and Gupta patriarch, Ajay, at the Gupta compound in Saxonwold on October 23 2015 and events following that meeting.

Jonas claims that in October 2015, the Gupta family offered him a promotion and a bribe of R600-million — two months before then-finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was removed from office.

READ MORE: ‘Looting R6bn from state is not enough’ — Ajay Gupta

In a statement released in March 2016 Jonas said he rejected the offer out of hand.

“The basis of my rejection of their offer is that it makes a mockery of our hard earned democracy, the trust of our people and no one apart from the President of the Republic appoints ministers,” he said.

Jonas’s media statement played a part in precipitating the Democratic Alliance’s motion to investigate state capture by the politically connected Gupta family.

On Friday, Jonas alleged that the head of the Hawks anti-corruption unit attempted to sabotage the case by forcing him to sign a statement that would halt the police investigation into the Guptas’ attempts to bribe him. The statement was presented to him by major general Zinhle Mnonopi.

Jonas alleged that Mnonopi referred to the case as a “DA matter”.

Mokoena asked Jonas if the police statement that he was asked to sign was false, to which Jonas replied in the affirmatory.

The draft police statement — which Jonas was asked to read out for the commission — suggested that he had refused to co-operate with the investigation. Jonas said he refused to sign the statement.

Jonas said that he was not shocked at the Hawks’ attempt to sabotage the case, because he had already suspected that the institution had been compromised. 

Sarah Smit

Sarah Smit

Sarah Smit both subs and writes for the Mail & Guardian. She joined the M&G after completing her master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Cape Town. She is interested in the literature of the contemporary black diaspora and its intersection with queer aesthetics of solidarity. Her recent work considers the connections between South African literary history and literature from the rest of the Continent. Read more from Sarah Smit

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