Duduzane 'completely refutes' being at meeting where massive bribe was offered

Duduzane Zuma takes the stand at the state capture commission in Parktown, Johannesburg, on October 7 2019.
Duduzane Zuma takes the stand at the state capture commission in Parktown, Johannesburg, on October 7 2019.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times

Duduzane Zuma has denied allegations that he was present at a meeting when former Free State economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana was offered a massive bribe to award a contract to a company linked to the Gupta family.

Dukwana previously told the commission that Rajesh Gupta offered him R2m a month as a kickback for helping the family secure a multibillion-rand construction job in the province. The meeting allegedly took place at the Gupta family's Saxonwold home.

Duduzane's testimony day 1 - It never happened

He said Ace Magashule, who was Free State premier at the time, took him to Saxonwold without his knowledge of where they were going. Dukwana said he immediately recognised Zuma and Gupta business ally Iqbal Sharma at the house.

Duduzane, son of former president Jacob Zuma and a known business associate of the Gupta family, is alleged to have used his relationship with the then head of state to facilitate meetings between prominent politicians and the Gupta brothers.

He faced a barrage of questions at the commission from evidence leader Phillip Mokoena on Monday when he appeared before the commission for the first time.

Zuma said he had never met Magashule at the Gupta's Saxonwold home, and that he could not recall meeting Dukwana at any time.

"I have never met him [Magashule] there. I do not know [Dukwana]. I do not recall meeting him.

"I’m not sure what Dukwana is talking about. I do not agree that this meeting took place. I do not agree that he is placing all these wonderful people at this meeting. In entirety, I completely refute it," he said.

At the meeting, Rajesh allegedly handed Dukwana a letter, its contents already typed out, with a letterhead from Dukwana's office. The letter was addressed to a Gupta-linked company, awarding the entity a multibillion-rand construction deal for the "City of Tomorrow" in the Lejweleputswa district municipality.

All it needed was Dukwana's signature.

Rajesh allegedly offered Dukwana a R2m immediate payment for signing the deal, and an additional R2m a month for the duration of the contract, which could have lasted for a decade. Dukwana refused.

Zuma's testimony is continuing.