Picture: Dumisani Sibeko/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

THE NET is closing in on President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, with the Hawks poised to arrest him tomorrow in connection with the state capture investigations.

Zuma evaded arrest on Thursday evening when he landed at OR Tambo International Airport, but it has been reliably learnt that law enforcement agencies have been circling over him, with the Hawks due to swoop on him as early as tomorrow.

According to highly placed sources privy to the investigations, an existing warrant of arrest was due to be executed on a case of corruption related to state capture.

“The matter is related to the statement made by Mcebisi Jonas to the public protector,” said one source, who requested anonymity. “There was a warrant of arrest that was issued and it’s going to be executed on Monday.”

Jonas, who was the deputy minister of finance, told former public protector Thuli Madonsela that he was allegedly offered a R600 million bribe for the job of finance minister.

The meeting is said to have taken place at least a month before then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was sacked in December 2015.

After he turned down the offer, the job was given to Des van Rooyen, who held the position for a weekend as the markets tumbled and he, in turn, was replaced by Pravin Gordhan. Jonas provided Madonsela with SMSes in which Duduzane requested a meeting with him.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi would neither confirm nor deny the imminent arrest. “I will be speaking to the media on Monday,” he said.

He added: “This is also a very sensitive issue. Duduzane must be given a chance to mourn and we will talk about this only on Monday.”

In March, Duduzane was summoned by Parliament’s public enterprises committee along with former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni and the three Gupta brothers, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, to appear before its inquiry into state capture. They never attended the inquiry.

In an interview with BBC Africa last year, Duduzane denied Jonas’s version that he (Jonas) was offered a bribe. He admitted to meeting him and being present when the meeting took place.

“Mr Jonas was not offered a bribe by the Guptas. I did meet him and I was present and there was no such thing that took place. It wasn’t a visit as such, it was a meeting arranged from my side to sort out certain issues that had nothing to do with the Guptas or any other people related to them,” he said at the time.

Frustrated

He also denied allegations that he is a corrupt individual. “I’m not corrupt. I’ve not involved myself in any corrupt practice, in any corrupt business,” he said.

Duduzane arrived in the country just over a day before the funeral of his younger brother, Vusi Nhlakanipho Zuma, who died of complications arising from lupus.

Vusi was buried yesterday in a private funeral at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg. To add to Duduzane’s woes, he has been summoned to appear in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court next week on culpable homicide charges arising from a car accident in which he was involved.

Meanwhile, sources at OR Tambo airport have revealed how the police at the airport were left frustrated while Duduzane was being held as they awaited a directive from their bosses to arrest him.

After holding Duduzane for almost three hours, two men who identified themselves as detectives from the Hawks simply walked in and took him away.

“Duduzane arrived after 8pm on a flight from Dubai. His passport flagged him as a suspect for commercial crime and officers were dispatched,” said the source.

“But as there was no warrant for his arrest, we didn’t know what to do - we had to consult our superiors. The senior police officer at the (airport) border section was saying ‘arrest him’. We told our supervisor and he said ‘you can’t arrest him without a warrant’. It was chaos.

“As we were consulting the station commander, the divisional police commissioner in the operational response services and the national police commissioner already knew about it,” added the source.

Duduzane’s lawyer, Rudi Krause of BDK Attorneys, said his client was briefly detained to allow Hawks officers to “confirm his identity”. Krause was adamant that no arrest warrant had been issued for his client.

Krause sad his client had returned in order to attend his brother’s funeral as well as to appear in court on Thursday on charges of culpable homicide.

The charges relate to the deaths of two women, Phumzile Dube and Jeanette Mashaba, who were killed in a 2014 accident when Duduzane crashed his Porsche into a taxi on the M1 in Joburg. Dube died on the scene while Mashaba died in hospital a few weeks later.

Despite recommendations from an inquest, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declined to prosecute.

In October, AfriForum an- nounced that, based on the Gupta Leaks e-mail which contained information about the NPA’s failure to prosecute Zuma, the organisation would conduct a private prosecution, led by top advocate Gerrie Nel.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE