Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted to meeting the Guptas but says he has never engaged with the controversial family beyond greetings and pleasantries.
Commission chairman Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Friday made public Ramaphosa's affidavit, detailing his dealings with companies and individuals implicated in state capture. Zondo said the affidavit was made public at the request of the president.
Interaction with Gupta family were just pleasantries
"My interactions with the Gupta family were at events where nothing of any consequence was discussed. I never engaged with them beyond basic greetings, pleasantries and common courtesies. The only occasion on which matters of substance were discussed was when the Gupta brothers requested a meeting with ANC officials to discuss their situation in relation to closure of their bank accounts and at which was also raised the controversy around them and their relationship with the then president Jacob Gedleyilhekisa Zuma," Ramaphosa said in the affidavit.
Guptas were told that their actions placed former president Jacob Zuma in invidious position
Ramaphosa said during a meeting in April 2016, he raised the scandalous landing of the Gupta private jet at the SA National Defence Force Waterkloof Base in 2013. Tony 'Rajesh' Gupta attended and did a presentation on the family's business model.
"I stated that they had, through their actions, placed the former president in an invidious position. Tony Gupta's reaction was that permission for the plane to land was obtained and given by the Indian High Commissioner."
Bosasa executives attended Andile Ramaphosa's wedding
President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was informed that Bosasa executives, CEO Gavin Watson and director Trevor Mathenjwa, travelled to Uganda in August 2018 to attend his son Andile Ramaphosa's wedding but that he did not recall interacting with them at the event.
More than a thousand guests attended the wedding, the president said in an affidavit submitted to the Zondo commission of inquiry into the state capture scandal.
"This included between 150 and 200 guests who flew from South Africa for the occasion. I have no recollection of any interaction with them at that event."
Ramaphosa 'may' have interacted with former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi
"I worked for the Molope Group of companies, and thereafter Rebserve, which bought relevant portions of Molope, from 1999 to 2003. Prior to that I was chairman of the Molope Group from 1996. I understand that Mr Agrizzi left the employ of Grantham Catering in 1997. It is entirely possible that I may have interacted with Mr Aggrizzi at the time but I have no recollection of having done so," the president said.
"In addition, Mr Watson and some of his siblings were actively involved in the United Democratic Front in their home town of Port Elizabeth so it is entirely possible I may have met him or interacted with him in that context decades ago, though I have no personal recollection of ever doing so."
Ramaphosa is not involved in the management and operations of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation
"I am advised that Mr Gavin Watson and Mr Trevor Mathenjwa attended one of the Back-to-School parties organised by the Adopt-A-School Foundation and hosted by myself as a fundraising event as guests of Dahau Technology, a Chinese company that provides video surveillance products and services.
"The Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation ("CRF") delivers its mandate. My role in CRF is limited to that of a Board member and I am not involved in the management and operations of the trust. The day-to-day operations are managed by an executive management team, supported by a staff complement across the partner entities of 133 people," the president said.
"The partner entities such as the Adopt-A-School Foundation have independent boards on which the CRF has representation. Dahau had contributed R55 000 as a donation to the Adopt-A-School Foundation by buying a table at the dinner fundraising event which was held on 14 October 2017 (by buying a table they were entitled to bring 10 persons to attend the event). To my knowledge, no donation was ever made to the Foundation by Bosasa."IOL