More Ace allegations set to emerge at Zondo commission

The Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture continues on Friday, with former Free State MEC Mxolisi Dukwana expected to give evidence.

Dukwana’s testimony will reportedly implicate former Free State Premier Ace Magashule in allegations of state capture at the provincial government.

It is expected that Dukwana will testify about how Magashule, now the ANC’s secretary general, allegedly took him to meet with the controversial Gupta family at their Saxonwold home.

Last October, Dukwana revealed he would testify before the commission about the clandestine 2011 meeting, during which he claims Rajesh ‘Tony’ Gupta offered him R2-million a month in exchange for his signature putting the Guptas in charge of a multibillion rand construction deal.

Dukwana told City Press newspaper that Gupta promised to pay him every month for the duration of the contract to build a so-called “New City or City of Tomorrow” in the Lejweleputswa district municipality in the Free State.

According to City Press’ report, the project was expected to take up to 10 years to complete.

READ MORE: Free State government in Zondo commission’s crosshairs

Dukwana was originally set down to testify last week, but his appearance was postponed after it emerged that Dukwana’s legal team was having problems securing documents relevant to his testimony from the Free State provincial government.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo — the commission’s chair — called on the provincial government to co-operate in handing over the documents, which reportedly include official cell phone and travel records.

Dukwana’s lawyers met briefly with Zondo and the commission’s legal team in his chambers on Monday, though no announcement was made regarding the status of the documents.

Dukwana’s evidence comes amid increased scrutiny surrounding Magashule, following the release of journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s explosive book Gangster State: Unravelling Magashule’s Web of Capture.

Business Insider, a News24 publication, broke the story of the allegations contained in Myburgh’s book over the weekend. Myburgh spent more than a year on the book, which focuses on Magashule’s networks and links him to a number of seemingly irregular and illegal payments, including instructions to the beneficiary of a provincial contract to ensure payments are made according to his wishes.

The book’s revelations prompted a statement from the ANC which denounced the book’s contents as “fake news”.

In an interview with CapeTalk on Wednesday, ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete said after consultation with the party’s leadership, it would retract the statement.

On Monday, Magashule told journalists that he is exploring his legal options regarding the allegations in the book.

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Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

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