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News

Ajay Gupta ‘had nothing to do with what happens in government’ – Jacob Zuma

The Gupta brothers had nothing to do with deciding appointments to government.

This is according to former president Jacob Zuma‚ who at the state capture inquiry on Tuesday denied that any member of the Gupta family had knowledge of who would be appointed or fired from his cabinet during his tenure as the head of state.

Zuma was responding to allegations made to the commission by former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor‚ who last year claimed that she was taken to the Gupta family’s Saxonwold home in 2010 under the assumption that she would be meeting Zuma.

She claimed that while she was at the house‚ Ajay Gupta offered her the public enterprises ministerial position in exchange for doing the family’s bidding once she entered cabinet.

She said that when she became agitated Zuma appeared from the next room and ushered her out of the house.

“Ajay Gupta was not part of government‚ he was not part of people who would be consulted … he should not have known‚” Zuma told the commission.

“I consult very selected people. At no stage could I do a reshuffle without people knowing who were supposed to know. For example‚ the top six of the ANC would have to know what I am doing‚ as well as the alliance.”

Asked if his relationship with the Guptas warranted Ajay to suggest who should be appointed to cabinet‚ Zuma said: “No‚ not at all. He had nothing to do with what happens in government.”

Zuma denied that he had been at the Gupta residence when Mentor was present.

Mentor was quick to take to social media while Zuma was testifying‚ saying on Facebook that the former president now recalls who she is. This was in response to a 2016 media statement in which the presidency said Zuma had no recollection of who Mentor was.

“Zuma now recalls who I am. He even says he knows me. But he has flatly denied recalling anything that has been put to him regarding my evidence‚” she wrote.

Source: TMG Digital.