ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule says the allegations of his involvement in a deal with the Guptas are ‘baseless’. African News Agency (ANA)
As state capture allegations mount against ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, the former Free State premier has complained that he is the victim of a character assassination.

This comes after economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana implicated Magashule in a Gupta-linked R140million deal.

Among the allegations made by Dukwana was that Magashule had shared minutes of provincial executive council meetings with the Guptas, including the information regarding the multi-million rand contract.

Dukwana’s allegations are contained in court papers in which he was applying for a warrant to search the offices of the premier and economic development MEC and seize documents relating to the allegations.

On Friday, News24 reported that Magashule was accused by Dukwana of taking him to the Guptas where the deal was discussed in 2012.

This was during Magashule’s tenure as premier in the province.

Magashule has accused Dukwana of lying and tarnishing his name.

“Comrade Dukwana’s allegations are not only baseless and malicious but are also based on fabrications, which is very unfortunate. The allegations are nothing but an attempt to advance character assassination and further distract the immediate task of unity and renewal,” Magashule said.

“No one should be allowed to use media platforms to be on a personal crusade to garner public sympathy and mileage at the expense of the reputation of others.

“Comradeship finds best expression out of respect for one another and appreciation of good values of our own movement,” Magashule added.

He is one of number of ANC senior leaders who have been accused of enabling the looting of state resources by the Gupta families, who are accused of having used their ties with former president Jacob Zuma to influence Cabinet appointments and state contracts. Under Magashule, the Gupta-linked companies handsomely benefited from tenders, including its media empire.

He called on Dukwana to approach the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and report the allegations.

“Our movement is on record inviting everyone, including our own comrades, to go before the Commission on State Capture and present facts and information that may assist all of us to deal with instances of maladministration and corruption.

“It is not clear why Comrade Dukwane chose to run to the newspapers and not follow this route,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reported yesterday that four banks have been subpoenaed to hand over details of transactions involving the Guptas and any state-owned entities.

The banks, Absa, Standard Bank, First National Bank and Nedbank, have all been ordered to hand over the information to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, the paper reported.