Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Ajay Gupta denies bribing Mcebisi Jonas

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Sep 20, 2018

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Johannesburg - Ajay Gupta has denied offering former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas a ministerial post and R600 000 in cash. 

The eldest brother of the controversial Gupta family has denied ever meeting Jonas in an affidavit filed at the state capture inquiry.  

Ajay denied that the meeting even took place saying he was in Sandton on October 23, 2016, and has plenty of witnesses who testify to this. 

“I can categorically state that I never met with Mr. Jonas on the afternoon of 23 October 2015. I was not even present during that time when the alleged meeting was held between the mentioned role players at the said residence. I was at the offices at Oakbay Sandton. Ronica Ragavan and the other employees of Oakbay can confirm my alibi and presence at the Oakbay office in Sandton on that afternoon," said Ajay. 

In Jonas’s testimony at the inquiry in August, he detailed how Ajay offered him a job as the finance minister to replace Nhlanhla Nene in 2015. He said Ajay offered to pay him R600 000 cash and would later give him R6 million if he agreed to take the job. 

Ajay poured cold water on Jonas’ testimony saying he had never offered him money and even knowing Fana Hlongwane, who Jonas said was present during the meeting. 

“His version of the events of the meeting he had with Fana Hlongwane and Duduzane Zuma is nothing but an intentional fabrication to implicate me in alleged wrongdoing in which I played no part as I was not present and never met Mr. Jonas.”

“I, therefore, had no discussions with him as claimed by him, made no offers of any nature to him to pay money to him should he be prepared to agree to become the minister of finance, or that I tell the President what to do and that I control everything, nor did I make any threats to kill him,” said Ajay. 

The Gupta brother said the fact that Jonas did not report the case to police proves that the death threat did not happen. He said he believes Jonas was led in his interview with former Public Protector Thuli Mandonsela to implicate him. 

“I point out that it is highly unlikely that the meeting took place, because if it did in the manner alleged by Mr. Jonas, he would immediately have reported it to the nearest police station as he, as any other ordinary citizen, was legally obliged and duty bound under the law, to do,” he said. 

“It is plain and indisputable that my identity was introduced to Mr. Jonas by way of leading questions suggested to him and or/photos of being shown to him, to enable him to conclude that he was in fact with me.”

Ajay had applied to cross-examine Jonas but his application was dismissed by commission chairperson deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo because of his unwillingness to testify at the commission in person.

Ajay and his brother Rajesh wanted to be granted permission testify via video link from Dubai, where they are currently based. 


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