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Institute criminal charges against Tony Gupta — Zondo report

Tony and Atul Gupta.
Tony and Atul Gupta.
Image: File photo

The commission of inquiry into state capture chaired by chief justice Raymond Zondo has recommend that more criminal charges be instituted against members of the controversial Gupta family.

In part 4 of the commission's report made public on Friday, the commission said the NPA should consider prosecuting Rajesh “Tony” Gupta.  

The report, divided into four sections, covers the attempted capture of the National Treasury, closure of the Gupta bank accounts, and the Free State asbestos project debacle, among other topics.

Mr Gupta told Mr Jonas that, if he worked with them, he would become very rich.

Zondo said Gupta must be charged for bribery or corruption emanating from his conduct in offering former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas R600m in exchange for agreeing to be finance minister and working with the family as its inside man.  

In August 2018, Jonas gave scathing testimony at the commission detailing threats, bribes and corruption he had encountered during a meeting at the Gupta residence in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. 

The meeting had been arranged by former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane.

During the meeting, the Gupta brother told him that Zuma intended to appoint him as finance minister — a position which Jonas said he was not interested in, but this was ignored and he instead received threats. 

“Mr Jonas testified that Mr Gupta told him that 'you must understand that we are in control of everything — the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks and the National Intelligence Agency'.”

Jonas recalled how the Gupta brother referred to Zuma as an “old man” who would do everything the family said as he was on their payroll.

“Mr Gupta told Mr Jonas that if he worked with them he would become very rich. Mr Jonas testified that Mr Gupta then told him he could immediately offer him R600m. He then pointed at Mr [Duduzane] Zuma in the room and said they had made him a billionaire and he had brought a house in Dubai. 

“When Mr D Zuma gave evidence, he was asked if it was true that the Guptas had already made him a billionaire by October 2015 and that he owned a house in Dubai. Mr D Zuma did not dispute the correctness of the statement that the Guptas had made him a billionaire by 2015,” reads the report.

Jonas, while giving testimony, also shared how Gupta had emphasised that the family were well-connected and had gathered information which they could use against him to destroy his political career. 

Jonas was also given instructions to never disclose that the meeting had taken place.

“It is almost a miracle that the National Treasury was saved from the tentacles of the Guptas,” said Zondo in the report. 

The Pretoria high court has granted a six-week extension for the delivery of the final state capture report, giving the commission until June 15.

TimesLIVE


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