I never met with Mcebisi Jonas, swears Ajay Gupta
Ajay Gupta states in an affidavit that the claims of a meeting with Mcebisi Jonas were merely a fabrication designed to support negative media coverage.
JOHANNESBURG – Ajay Gupta has stated under oath for the first time, that he did not meet with Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas or offer him the job of Finance Minister prior to the sacking of Nhlanhla Nene.
The assertion is contained in the latest affidavit to be submitted in the struggle between the Guptas, their Oakbay company, the banks and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
The minister has approached the courts seeking a declaratory order confirming it would be unlawful for him to interfere in the dispute between the Guptas and several financial institutions.
South Africa’s big four banks terminated their business relations with the family’s companies last year, citing “associated reputational and business risk”.
Ajay Gupta states in the affidavit that the claims of a meeting with Jonas were merely a fabrication designed to support the wave of adverse media attention against his family and to achieve political advantage.
He insists under oath, that such a meeting never took place.
Gupta accuses Jonas of being blatantly dishonest for claiming that they met – or attended any meeting together – and has challenged him to prove that they did so.
He describes as “awkward” the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s acceptance of Jonas’s version, while she refused to investigate what actually happened.
President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane, who last year severed his business ties with Oakbay, has also filed a confirmatory affidavit, stating that Ajay Gupta was not present at any time during a meeting with Jonas.
(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)