Johannesburg - Although he met the fugitive Gupta family at African National Congress (ANC) events, President Cyril Ramaphosa 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.
"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 says in the affidavit.
The meeting was in April 2016, where Tony 'Rajesh' Gupta arrived and made a presentation on the family's business model. Ramaphosa said during the meeting he raised the scandalous landing of the Gupta private jet at the SA National Defence Force Waterkloof Base in 2013.
"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."
The first time he met the family was during a breakfast media briefing in December 2012 after the elective conference where Zuma was re-elected ANC president and Ramaphosa his deputy. Senior ANC officials were presenting resolutions of the conference. Ramaphosa said he did not know whom of the three Gupta brothers he met at the time as he did not know their names. The second encounter was at an ANC event after the 2014 general elections.
African News Agency (ANA)