Johannesburg - Former ANC Free State treasurer Mxolisi Dukwana on Friday revealed how the governing party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule took him to the Guptas and offered a R2 million monthly bribe for the duration of a 10-year deal.
Dukwana made the startling revelations at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture saying Magashule took him to the Guptas’ Saxonwold compound where he was offered the bribe under the guise of going to an ANC fundraising event in Joburg in February 2012, ahead of the party’s provincial conference.
In addition to his explosive testimony, Dukwana told of how Rajesh ‘Tony’ Gupta, in attempting to force him to sign the letter, informed him that Magashule was already working for the controversial family and getting paid R1m a month alongside former President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane.
The former Free State economic development and education MEC also told the commission chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that Gupta bragged about obtaining R3m every month and driving to Magashule to give him R1m, another R1m to Duduzane and keeping the remaining R1m.
According to Dukwana, both Magashule and Duduzane nodded in agreement with Gupta’s statement.
He said Gupta promised him a R2m sweetener for the project immediately upon signing and every month for the duration of the contract.
“The whole project could have lasted 10 years,” he explained.
But Dukwana protested: “I can’t sign this, I’m an MEC and executive authority. This should be signed by the head of department if it needs to be signed.”
Earlier, he said Gupta had given him the letter, which had his office’s letterhead to sign after going through it.
“Immediately that worried me, how did it end up here because I don’t remember any person asking me to provide them with the letterhead,” Dukwana said.
The letter was addressed to Nulane Investments, a company belonging to Gupta associate Iqbal Sharma, and stated that the provincial government’s ambitious projects of establishing an ICT Hub and the City of Tomorrow were to be given to Nulane.
“It was kind of an appointment letter,” Dukwana added.
He said he looked into Magashule’s eyes but he was looking down.
“I wanted to know what was happening,” Dukwana said.
He explained that Gupta referred to Magashule as ‘Brother Ace’ and that they were working with him in a number of projects.
Dukwana also testified that it was Magashule who asked him to accompany him to visit the offices of the Guptas’ company Sahara Computers in February 2008.
At the time, Magashule was sports MEC while Dukwana was safety MEC.
It was there in Midrand that Dukwana met Gupta, who then took them on a tour of the premises.
After they had concluded the tour, Gupta, according to Dukwana, then asked Magashule: “Did you bring it?”
Magashule the handed him his ID and Gupta left the two Free State politicians.
“I don’t think at the time Ace expected that this would be requested in my presence because I could see the surprise on his face,” Dukwana said.
Magashule then told Dukwana that he would be getting into business with Sahara Computers.
“He indicated that because of exposure as a political person, he would rather have his son Tshepiso dealing with this (business dealings),” he said.
Defending himself, Magashule told Dukwana that there was no law in the country that prohibited his son from doing business with any person.
“I didn’t understand why the explanation but could only deduce that because it was said in my presence and he did not expect that,” he said.
Gupta later returned with Magashule’s ID and asked Dukwana: “Did you bring yours?”
Dukwana said he just shrugged it off and told Gupta “no” and they all laughed. The Commission resumes on Monday.