Duduzane Zuma has denied the claim that he was party to a meeting during which former Free State MEC Mxolisi Dukwana was allegedly offered a R2-million sweetener in exchange for his signature on a government construction deal that would have gained the Gupta family control of a multibillion-rand investment.
On Monday, during his testimony before the Zondo commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture, Zuma said he had never met with Dukwana.
The former president’s son also told the commission — chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo — that although he regularly attended meetings at the Gupta family residence in Saxonwold, he had never met with ANC secretary general Ace Magashule there.
Zuma was responding to an allegation by Dukwana that he attended a 2011 meeting at the Gupta home at which Rajesh ‘Tony’ Gupta revealed he delivered monthly cash payments of R1-million Magashule and the former president’s son.
According to Dukwana, the meeting was also attended by alleged Gupta ally, Iqbal Sharma.
“I am not sure what Mr Dukwana is talking about,” Zuma says. “I do not agree with each and every part of the statement, paragraph by paragraph … So in entirety, I completely refute it,” Zuma said.
This revelation about the alleged payments to Zuma and Magashule 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 in the Free State.
Gupta held up R200 notes, saying there was R2-million in a black bag, Dukwana alleged during his appearance before the commission in April. “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 nodded 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.
Dukwana told the commission that he was whisked away to the Gupta family’s home by Magashule who had told him that the reason for the trip to Johannesburg was for him to attend a fundraising dinner.
“He [Magashule] then told me that I should not worry in terms of arranging the travelling. He will do that for me and my office would not do that. His office will do.” 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. There they were welcomed by Tony Gupta, who 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.
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.
When asked on Monday why he had not applied to cross-examine Dukwana, Zuma said he did not believe he is actually implicated in Dukwana’s statement.