Free State gov fails to hand over evidence corroborating Ace allegations

Former Free State Economic Development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana has had little luck obtaining documents crucial to corroborating his allegations against ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Friday.

During his testimony before the commission — chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo — Dukwana revealed that the Free State provincial government has failed to hand over the documents he and the commission’s legal team have asked for.

The documents he has requested from the Free State government includes his official cellphone records, his travel records, Magashule’s travel records from 2009, a presentation on a controversial multibillion rand construction initiative and his diary from his tenure as MEC.

According to Dukwana, he is still unable to get hold of his cellphone records and his diary. Dukwana said he was managed to obtain a copy of Magashule’s travel records, but suggested they had seemingly been falsified.

READ MORE: Ex-treasurer promises Ace bombshells

Dukwana was supposed to give evidence before the commission last week, but his testimony had to be postponed when it emerged that he was unable to obtain the documents from the Free State provincial government.

Last week, Zondo revealed that last October, the commission had reached out to Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela asking that she help the commission in obtaining documents that would help their investigation into Dukwana’s allegations.

“The premier of the free state … assured me that the provincial government of the Free State would co-operate fully and that it would facilitate access to such information,” he said.

Zondo said he was “surprised” the information has still not been obtained nearly five months after his phone call with Ntombela.

He publicly implored the Free State provincial government to co-operate with Dukwana’s legal team and the commission’s investigators.

Last year, Dukwana brought an urgent Anton Piller application — a court order for the right to search premises and seize evidence — to the high court in Bloemfontein.


Dukwana told the commission on Friday that he felt the need to make the court application because, if his intention to appear before the commission got out, the Free State provincial government would never have handed over the evidence he was seeking.

It is expected that Dukwana will testify about how Magashule allegedly took him to meet with the controversial Gupta family at their Saxonwold home.

Magashule was the premier of the Free State at the time.

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.

READ MORE: Magashule exploring legal options over ‘Gangster State’ allegations

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

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

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

Dukwana told the Mail & Guardian this week that his submission would corroborate much of the information about the inner workings of Magashule’s alleged corrupt networks in the Free State detailed in Myburgh’s book.

Dukwana’s counsel, Smanga Sethene, brought his own copy of Gangster State to the commission. Evidence leader, advocate Phillip Mokoena, also kept a book-marked copy of the book close at hand.

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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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