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Donations were from Guptas: TNA

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zille CT jan 30

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

DA leader Helen Zille. Photo: Jeffrey Abrahams

Cape Town - The New Age (TNA) newspaper on Wednesday insisted donations made to the DA from 2009 came from a Gupta group company and not an individual donor associated with the family.

TNA chief executive Nazeem Howa rubbished Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille's explanation that two cheques, one for R200 000 and another for R100 000 came from Stefan Nel, a Sahara Computers executive director.

The Guptas own Sahara and Atul Gupta is the company's managing director.

The newspaper on Wednesday published a letter in which Zille thanks Gupta for his contribution to the party.

Zille claimed it was sent before she became aware the money came from Nel in his personal capacity.

Howa challenged her explanation, saying there was no confusion on who the money came from.

“In 2010, the DA by mistake sent a receipt to the Sahara official (Nel) who then corrected it and the receipt was re-issued in the name of a Gupta group company. So we are unclear on where Ms Zille’s confusions stems from,” said Howa.

TNA is owned by the Guptas, who are believed to have ties to President Jacob Zuma.

Zille earlier confirmed her party had received a total of R400 000 from an individual and a company associated with the Guptas. The other R100 000 was an electronic transfer from Islandsite Investments, which is also linked to the Gupta family.

Zille insisted there was nothing wrong with the donations, as there was no scandal involving the Guptas when the money was accepted in 2009 and early 2010.

She later instructed the DA's fundraising department “to have nothing to do with the Gupta family or any of their companies”.

“Early in 2011, when I started getting concerned they (the Guptas) may be channelling money to the DA via Mr Nel, I gave instructions, that's in the file, (that there will be) no more fundraising from Mr Nel... It's all recorded.”

Zille said the DA would not return any of the money.

The DA leader and TNA executives had been engaged in a public spat, after she refused to speak at one of their business breakfasts when she learnt it was being funded with public money. - Sapa


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