The wheel­ings and deal­ings

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Met with Duduzane Zuma in Rose­bank, Jo­han­nes­burg, as re­quested by Fana Hlong­wane and ended up at the Gupta house in Sax­on­wold. He was of­fered the job of fi­nance min­is­ter by Ajay Gupta, but de­clined, say­ing only the pres­i­dent could make such de­ci­sions. Gupta then re­vealed that, at the time, his fam­ily had made R6 bil­lion from the state and wanted that fig­ure to grow to R8 bil­lion, adding that Na­tional Trea­sury was a stum­bling block for their am­bi­tions. They needed Jonas to re­move the cur­rent di­rec­tor-gen­eral and other mem­bers of the ex­ec­u­tive. Gupta then asked Jonas if he had a bag he could use to put in R600 000 he wanted to give him and that a fur­ther R600 mil­lion would be de­posited into Jonas’ ac­count of choice. Jonas left and im­me­di­ately in­formed then fi­nance min­is­ter Nh­lanhla Nene, cur­rent Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han and ANC trea­surer-gen­eral Zweli Mkhize.


Gord­han told Advocate Thuli Madon­sela that be­fore he was reinstated – fol­low­ing Nenegate – Jonas had told him some­thing was both­er­ing him, but did not re­veal de­tails. Af­ter his ap­point­ment, Jonas then shared with him how the Gup­tas had of­fered him the po­si­tion of min­is­ter of fi­nance. Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma ap­pointed Gord­han as fi­nance min­is­ter on De­cem­ber 13 last year, mainly to sta­bilise the mar­kets. He ac­cepted the of­fer and the ap­point­ment was fi­nalised on De­cem­ber 14. Na­tional Trea­sury staff then told him that Des van Rooyen had ar­rived with ad­vis­ers de­mand­ing in­for­ma­tion on the SAA Air­bus swap deal.


The for­mer Govern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem (GCIS) CEO re­ceived numer­ous meet­ing re­quests from the Gup­tas late in 2010. He agreed to the meet­ing even­tu­ally and on the way there, he re­ceived a call from the pres­i­dent’s PA say­ing: “Ubaba ufuna ukukhu­luma nawe” (loosely trans­lated, the pres­i­dent wants to talk to you). Zuma then got on the line and said: “Kuna labafana bak­waGupta badinga un­cedo lwakho. Ng­icela ubancede” (loosely trans­lated, the Gupta brothers need your help, please help them). Maseko met with Ajay Gupta and an­other brother who told him they were set­ting up The New Age news­pa­per and wanted govern­ment ad­ver­tis­ing chan­nelled to the pa­per. Maseko told them that the GCIS did not have the ad­ver­tis­ing bud­get be­cause it was within var­i­ous de­part­ments. Gupta ap­par­ently said: “Tell us where the funds are and in­form the de­part­ments to pro­vide the funds to you and if they refuse, we will deal with them. If you have a prob­lem with any de­part­ment, we will sum­mon min­is­ters here.”


For­mer pub­lic en­ter­prises min­is­ter Bar­bara Ho­gan said dur­ing her ten­ure (2009 to 2010), Zuma and ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe took in­ter­est in the ap­point­ment of board mem­bers at var­i­ous state-owned en­ter­prises. She said Zuma made it dif­fi­cult for her to do her job. Dur­ing a state visit to In­dia in June 2010, she no­ticed that the Gupta fam­ily mem­bers had taken over con­trol of the pro­ceed­ings and ap­peared to be di­rect­ing the pro­gramme. She ap­proached then SAA board chair Cheryl Caro­lus about the strange events. Soon there­after, Zuma dis­missed her.


Pub­lic En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Lynne Brown ap­pointed the board at Eskom in Septem­ber last year, which in­cluded CEO Brian Molefe. Some board mem­bers had di­rect and in­di­rect busi­ness or per­sonal re­la­tions with the pres­i­dent’s son, Duduzane Zuma, the Gupta fam­ily and their re­lated as­so­ciates.


Min­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Mosebenzi Zwane is al­leged to have used his po­si­tion as a min­is­ter to as­sist Gupta-owned com­pany Tegeta to se­cure the sale of the Op­ti­mum Coal mine owned by Switzer­land-based com­pany, Glen­core. His visit to Glen­core con­ve­niently co­in­cided with the visit of a Gupta del­e­ga­tion to the com­pany’s head­quar­ters. Zwane’s flight sched­ule was ad­justed to in­clude an ad­di­tional flight, re­sult­ing in ad­di­tional travel ex­penses in­curred at R96 630. The re­port states that if there is no ex­pla­na­tion for why ad­di­tional costs were in­curred, this could point to fruit­less and waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture.


He was ap­pointed fi­nance min­is­ter on De­cem­ber 9 last year – af­ter the abrupt re­moval of Nene. He re­ported for duty at Na­tional Trea­sury with an ad­viser who had been in con­tact with some­one at Sax­on­wold the day be­fore. He and his ad­vis­ers de­manded in­for­ma­tion on the SAA Air­bus swap, among other deals. Four days later he was reshuf­fled to the co­op­er­a­tive gov­er­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs de­part­ment. He can be placed in Sax­on­wold on at least seven oc­ca­sions, in­clud­ing on the day be­fore he was ap­pointed as min­is­ter of fi­nance.

Themba Maseko

Bar­bara Ho­gan

Mosebenzi Zwane

Mce­bisi Jonas

Des van Rooyen

Pravin Gord­han

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