Government forked over R260 million to Gupta-owned companies
Johannesburg - The Gupta companies Infinity Media and The New Age (TNA) received over R260 million from various government departments on advertising spend over a number of years.
This amount was revealed during the testimony of National Treasury official Jan Gilliland at the state capture inquiry on Monday in Johannesburg.
Gilliland told the inquiry that through the system used by various government departments and the National Treasury in order to track the orders and payments to suppliers, the companies owned by the Gupta family Infinity Media and TNA received R260 million on advertising spend from various government departments.
TNA owned the newspaper chain The New Age newspaper and Infinity Media ran the television news channel ANN7.
The commission's legal team had asked the National Treasury to search for payments made to Infinity Media and TNA.
Advocate Vincent Maleka told the commission's chairperson, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, that the aim of obtaining the proof of these payments was to finish telling the three-part story of GCIS.
The acting director-general at GCIS Phumla Williams told the first part and former GCIS CEO Themba Maseko had told the second part and Gilliland was testifying on the third part of the GCIS story, Maleka said.
Maseko had told the inquiry how he was fired from his job at former president Jacob Zuma's request after he refused to help the Gupta family gain access to the GCIS' R600 million media buying budget.
Williams also told the inquiry how her predecessor Mzwanele Manyi took control of GCIS' media buying unit, the tender board and appointed new members of the board.
GCIS procurement officials were bullied into funding The New Age business breakfast briefings which were run by the Gupta family's newspaper in partnership with the SABC, said Williams.
Gilliland told the inquiry that Infinity Media received a total of R12 million from government departments' advertising expenditure, while TNA received R248 million.
The official also broke down the yearly payments to the Gupta companies. The pie chart presented by Gilliland showed how the payments to Gupta owned Infinity Media and TNA sharply increased over a five year period.
Advocate Maleka told Zondo that the payments to the two companies increased sharply from when the Gupta family were initiating establishing a television news channel and a newspaper to around the time Maseko was removed as the CEO of GCIS and the eventual court application by Manyi to liquidate AfroVoice Newspaper (formerly TNA) - which he bought from the Gupta family.
TNA and Infinity Media yearly break-down of payments;
2006 = R36 000
2008 = R1 million
2011 = R6 million
2012 = R29 million
2013 = R 30 Million
2014 = R51 million
2015 = R66 million
2016 = R43 million
2017 = R27 million
2018 = R4 million (This does not represent the full year)
The inquiry continues.IOL
* This story forms part of the #HighSchoolsQuiz study material. Click here for more #HighSchoolsQuiz stories.