Guptas paid Ace and Duduzane R1mn a month — Dukwana

Rajesh ‘Tony’ Gupta delivered monthly cash payments of R1-million to former Free State Premier Ace Magashule and the former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Friday.

This allegation emerged during the testimony of former Free State Economic Development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana, who revealed details relating to an alleged 2012 meeting at the Gupta family’s Saxonwold home.

READ MORE: Ex-treasurer promises Ace bombshells

Dukwana told the commission Gupta revealed during the meeting that Magashule and the younger Zuma were receiving large monthly cash payments from the family.

This revelation was made after Gupta allegedly offered Dukwana a R2-million sweetener in exchange for his signature on a government construction deal that would have gained the Guptas control of a multibillion-rand investment.

Gupta allegedly held up R200 notes, saying there was R2-million in a black bag, Dukwana said. “He opened the bag and at the top I could see he took out a stash,” he said.

According to Dukwana, Magashule’s eyes were downcast throughout the meeting and neither he nor Zuma denied receiving the payments.

“I drive to brother Ace, and I give him his million. The same with Duduzane. Isn’t it so?” Gupta allegedly asked the pair. Magashule replied in the affirmative, Dukwana said.

Gupta said the R1-million monthly payments were linked to a project at Jagersfontein mine, Dukwana told the commission. According to Dukwana, he was offered a monthly payment of R2-million for the duration of the project.

Dukwana’s allegation that Magashule co-ordinated the meeting has been widely reported on since the former Free State MEC revealed that he would be giving evidence before the commission, which is chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

On Friday, Dukwana told the commission that he was whisked away to the Gupta residence by Magashule who had told him that the reason for the trip to Johannesburg was for him to attend a fundraising dinner.

“He [Magashule] … told me that I should not worry in terms of arranging the travels,” Dukwana said.

Dukwana said he had assumed that when he and Magashule left OR Tambo International Airport in two separate cars, he had assumed that they were travelling to Sandton, where the fundraising event was being held.

According to Dukwana, he immediately recognised the Guptas’ Saxonwold home, where they were welcomed by Gupta. Gupta allegedly asked Dukwana to hand over his cellphone, which he did.

Dukwana recounted that he was left alone in a room in the compound “for some time” before Gupta and Magashule re-emerged. The pair was accompanied by Zuma and alleged Gupta ally, Iqbal Sharma, Dukwana said.

READ MORE: Free State gov fails to hand over evidence corroborating Ace allegations

During the meeting, Gupta handed Dukwana a letter which he wanted the then MEC to sign, Dukwana alleged.

The letter was written on the letterhead of the office of the MEC and set out the appointment of Nulane Investments — owned by Sharma — to develop a master plan for the so-called “City for Tomorrow” in the Lejweleputswa district municipality in the Free State, Dukwana testified. The letter purported to have been authored by Dukwana.

According to Dukwana, he refused to sign the letter.

The hearing continues.

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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