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Duduzane Zuma makes U-turn on state capture, says he will testify

2018-09-10 18:18

Duduzane Zuma is set to testify at the inquiry into state capture.

After previously saying that he would not be able to testify because he was facing criminal charges in a separate matter, Zuma did an about turn on Monday.

His decision was welcomed by the inquiry into state looting. The inquiry is investigating the controversial Gupta family and their associates, whom Zuma has worked with in the past.

Zuma’s lawyers had presented a letter to the inquiry indicating that he would be prepared to testify. Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas had implicated former president Jacob Zuma’s son when he had told the commission that Zuma was present during a meeting when the Gupta brothers had offered him a R600-million bribe and the position of finance minister.

Zuma, through his lawyers, had applied to cross examine Jonas. Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo was expected to make his decision on Thursday about the applications to cross-examine witnesses.

The morning’s evidence at the inquiry heard how almost R260 million was paid to Gupta-owned media houses, The New Age Media and Infinity Media.

National Treasury official Jan Gilliland, who has been with the department for more than three decades, presented evidence to the commission.

Led by Advocate Vincent Maleka SC, Gilliland explained how Treasury’s finances are monitored and handled according to stringent controls in place.

The payments, which Gilliland tracked through Treasury’s Basic Accounting System, occurred between 2004 and 2018.

Infinity Media earned a total of R12 million while TNA pocketed R248 million over the 14-year period.

The payments were facilitated through the Government Information and Communications System and various provincial departments, with the Free State provincial government having paid the Gupta companies a cool R79.3 million.

KwaZulu-Natal and the North West had paid almost R25 million and R24 million respectively.

Gilliland’s testimony will prove to be an important piece of the puzzle, after providing a breakdown of how money was looted to the Gupta’s.

Gilliland, who went through each bank account and the money that was received, said that the system had found 11 bank accounts linked both to The New Age and Infinity Media.

Themba Maseko, former head of government communications, gave evidence before the commission two weeks ago. He said he had learnt through the media that he was fired after refusing to assist the Guptas, following a direct instruction from former president Jacob Zuma.

In 2010, the Guptas had demanded that the Government Information and Communications System pay R600 million to The New Age Media, which was owned by them.

In 2011, Mzwanele Manyi had taken over Maseko’s position. Manyi, who went on to supposedly purchase the Gupta media house, had filed for liquidation earlier this year after Afro World View, formerly known as ANN7, was unable to sustain its time as a news channel on Multichoice’s DSTV.

At the same time, head of presidency Zizi Kodwa addressed the media on Monday, saying that the ANC called on anyone with information to testify at the commission.

The commission would continue on Wednesday, at 10am, when former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan would appear.

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November 18 2018