Malusi Gigaba denies dealings with Guptas
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Johannesburg - Former minister Malusi Gigaba, who took the stand at the Zondo Commission after lunch on Friday, was amped to deal with his estranged wife’s explosive evidence but due to his lawyer’s religious responsibilities, Gigaba will have to wait for another day.
Gigaba took the stand shortly after his estranged wife, Norma Mngoma concluded her evidence about his close relationship with the Gupta family, Ajay Gupta’s financial assistance and how his ministerial decisions were often dictated by the Guptas.
Gigaba told the commission that he was ready to tackle Mngoma’s “extensive lies and fabrications” that she brewed up in her “creative imagination”.
Gigaba said he did not have any dealings with the Gupta family and he had only known them because they attended the same cultural and social events.
He said he had first met them in the early 2000s but by 2014, he significantly scaled down their relationship as he was busy with elections and other commitments.
He said knowing the family had no impact on his ministerial government work.
He admitted to visiting their Saxonwold compound but discounted Mngoma’s testimony that it was more than 20 times.
Gigaba said Mngoma only spoke of a few times that she accompanied him to the Gupta home “so how does she know … she wasn’t there”.
Dealing with the goings on at Transnet during his tenure as Public Enterprises minister, Gigaba said he had only learnt through the commission that the Guptas were paid R3.5 billion in kickbacks.
He said he could not have known about their involvement in the locomotives tenders as he was minister and only played an oversight role.
He told the commission that he was therefore not aware of Gupta-associate Salim Essa’s involvement in the tender processes.
Although he said he met Essa on a few occasion, he denied having private meetings with him.
He told the Commission that he understood the Prasa board to have handled the procurement.
He said if the irregularities were brought to his attention then, he would have taken action.