'It was Supra who took me to the Guptas,' says Collen Maine

Collen Maine
Collen Maine

In a startling admission following years of denials, ANC Youth League president Collen Maine has admitted to being introduced to the controversial Gupta family by North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.

"Mama Winnie refused to go to the Guptas when many of us were willing," Maine said on Tuesday at a memorial service honouring Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Potchefstroom, North west.

"We must be honest about this comrades. Some of us did not take ourselves there, we were taken there. And I must confess that I was not taken to the Guptas by former president Jacob Zuma, but by Supra Mahumapelo. And this is the truth."

In the video clip, Maine is heard saying: "We did not take ourselves there. We were taken to the Guptas.

"I was not taken there by Zuma. The person who took me there is Supra Mahumapelo.

"Comrades, if my going there means that at some time I must appear in court, don't follow me. You never said I must go there. I went there on my own."

Maine, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, also appeared to support the inquiry into state capture.

Sipho Dial, secretary of the ANCYL in North West, confirmed Mahumapelo introduced Maine to the Guptas.

"Supra is a key link of the Guptas to the ANC," Dial said. "He wanted to hand over the youth league to the Guptas. The Guptas' plan was to take over the ANC and all its structures."

Mahumapelo's spokesman Brian Setswambung said the premier would not respond to claims made by Maine.

"He rather chooses to allow the Madikizela-Mandela family and South Africans to mourn Mama Winnie."

The latest development comes after it emerged that Mahumapelo and Maine - once strong allies - had fallen out. Dial said the fight started when Maine was elected uncontested as the youth league president in 2015.

Some ANC leaders in the province have now turned against Mahumapelo, calling for his removal from office.

Yesterday, ANC MPL Boitumelo Moiloa told Sowetan she had lost confidence in Mahumapelo "because of the manner in which he is dealing with corruption activities in the province".

"He has taken Collen to the Guptas and he has not engaged with us about this."

Moiloa said Maine was telling the truth when he said Mahumapelo introduced him to the Gupta family.

"I believe Collen Maine as a comrade."