Despite that meeting not ending well‚ according to Maseko‚ Ajay Gupta persisted in demanding that the GCIS channel money to The New Age newspaper.
Maseko testified that Ajay was enraged when he did not agree to a subsequent meeting – which was requested by Rajesh “Tony” Gupta. According to Maseko‚ Ajay later called him and told him that he was being “uncooperative” and that he would report this lack of cooperation to his “superiors”.
Because of Zuma’s previous call‚ Maseko said‚ he believed these superiors included the then-president. He said he received multiple calls from government communications heads‚ complaining that Rajesh Gupta had been calling them and demanding that they place advertising in The New Age.
“Tony Gupta was making calls demanding that they place advertising in The New Age newspaper… He said he talked to me‚” Maseko said.
Months later‚ Maseko was fired by Zuma. Zuma asked Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane to announce this removal at a Cabinet meeting‚ where Chabane revealed that Mzwanele Manyi had replaced him as head of GCIS.
Maseko said he was moved to the Department of Public Service and Administration as a director-general.
Inquiry legal counsel Vincent Maleka said the State Capture Commission would lead evidence about how much of government’s advertising budgets was allocated to Gupta media houses.