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Mcebisi Jonas details Gupta family meeting, proposition

Jonas is giving his account of how in October 2015 he was called to a meeting with Ajay Gupta and was allegedly offered the job of finance minister.

Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas at the State Capture inquiry on 24 August 2018.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Former deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas has testified at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry how he was offered hundreds of millions of rand to take over the ministry.

Jonas is giving his account of how in October 2015 he was called to a meeting with Ajay Gupta and was allegedly offered the job of Finance Minister.

He's detailed how he was repeatedly contacted by former President Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane, in the days leading to the meeting.

At that gathering at the Gupta's Saxonwold home, Jonas has told the commission that Ajay Gupta claimed his family had vast control over various state institutions.

“Mr Gupta said that the president was going to fire Mr Nene because he could not work with him, with reference to the Gupta family. He said that ‘you must understand that we’re in control of everything and the old man will do anything we tell him to do.’”

The former Cabinet member says he was stunned.

“He said, emphatically, that I must become minister of finance because we want it. He also said that if I worked with them, I’d become very rich and that he could immediately offer me R600 million.”

WATCH: Meeting between Jonas & Guptas

‘GUPTAS THREATENED ME’

Jonas says that one of the Gupta brothers threatened to kill him if he mentioned that a meeting had taken place where he was offered a ministerial position.

Jonas says he was offered a total R600 million by the Gupta's if he took on the position and agreed to “work with them”.

He says he didn't accept the offer and wanted to leave.

“I asked Mr Zuma to take me back to my car. Mr Gupta said he wished to continue the meeting with Mr Zuma and another car would take me to the airport. At the end of the meeting Mr Gupta repeated that they had information on me and if I suggested that the meeting had occurred, they would kill me.”

HAWKS SABOTAGE

The former deputy finance minister has accused the Hawks of trying to dupe him into signing a false statement.

He says the Hawks then attempted to deliberately sabotage the investigation into the Guptas.

Jonas says he didn't have confidence that the Hawks would pursue the case.

“In that affidavit, we also stated upfront since the intention was to kill the case, we think the media statement was enough to do that and that’s the part of our view that we could not continue to interact with.”

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