Former finance minister Mcebisi Jonas Picture: Zintle Mahlati/IOL
Former finance minister Mcebisi Jonas Picture: Zintle Mahlati/IOL

#StateCaptureInquiry: Hawks tried to squash my case against Guptas, says Jonas

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Aug 24, 2018

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Johannesburg - A senior official from South Africa's Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) tried to quash former finance minister Mcebisi Jonas' case against the Gupta family, the commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Friday.

Jonas said he received a call from the DPCI, more commonly known as the Hawks after he released a media statement detailing his meeting with Ajay Gupta, Duduzane Zuma and Fana Hlongwane where Ajay allegedly offered him a R600 million bribe to accept a promotion to finance minister.

Jonas said he was with his attorney Max Boqwana at the meeting with the Hawks' major general Zinhle Mnonopi

Mnonopi told him the case was a ''DA matter'', referring to o pposition party Democratic Alliance and inferring that the complaint was the anti-ANC-led government.

''She said this is a DA do not want to be on the side of the DA. There is no case so we will kill this case,'' said Jonas.

According to the former deputy minister, Mnonopi wanted him to sign a statement that the case would be quashed because Jonas did not have the evidence, did not open a case with the police, and was not prepared to do so in future. 

Jonas said he refused to sign the letter and later sent the Hawks a legal statement on the details of his complaint against the Guptas.

Earlier during proceedings, Jonas claimed fugitive Ajay Gupta threatened to kill him if he revealed information about his meeting with the Guptas.

Jonas described the full details of the October 2015 meeting at the Gupta family's Saxonwold compound in Johannesburg. He said he had been requested by former president Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane to a meeting, without being given the details. 

Duduzane then suggested the two go and talk somewhere private and the venue turned out to be the Gupta compound. Businessman Fana Hlongwane joined them first before Ajay Gupta later walked into the room.

''He did not greet (me) and just started talking like a radio. He said the old man [Jacob Zuma] likes me," Jonas told the inquiry.

"Duduzane and Hlongwane remained quiet as if they did not exist. Mr Gupta told me they have intelligence on me, and that I work with Gwede Mantashe [then secretary general of the ruling ANC party] and Zweli Mkhize [former ANC treasurer] and that was not good because they were not good...they were bad guys."

"He said they called me to that meeting to check me out since the old man likes me so much," Jonas added.

Gupta then told him that Nhlanhla Nene would be fired as finance minister and Jonas would get the post if he agreed. Gupta offered him R600 million to ''stash away in any account'' or bank in Dubai. Jonas said he was offered a pre-payment of R600 000 on the spot by Gupta as he stood up to leave for a flight to Cape Town, but said he did not want the money.

As he walked out, Gupta followed, asking him: "'Do you know who you are dealing with? You think this is illegal? It is legal...look at the moment, we make R6 billion from state companies, we want to grow it to R8 billion. Treasury is a stumbling block to our growth.''

Ajay boasted that the Gupta family worked with former Eskom boss Brian Molefe and former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown and had made both ''very rich.''

He then allegedly threatened Jonas against reporting the meeting.

''This meeting did not happen say anything to anyone if you suggest (this) meeting occurred, we will kill you,'' Gupta allegedly told Jonas. 

African News Agency/ANA

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