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Maseko: I don't think Guptas had grand plan to capture state

Maseko told the inquiry on Thursday that he didn't believe the family initially had a grand plan to capture government departments and state institutions.

A screengrab of former GCIS CEO Themba Maseko giving testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry on 30 August 2018.

JOHANNESBURG - A Gupta brother boasted about frequent dinners that his family would have with former President Jacob Zuma.

That was part of ex-government spokesperson Themba Maseko's evidence before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry probing state capture.

Maseko told the inquiry on Thursday that he didn't believe the family initially had a grand plan to capture government departments and state institutions. But he says they started where they felt they had influence.

Maseko detailed how he was he fired after he refused to follow Zuma’s instruction to help the Guptas.

“I don’t think this was part of some grand plan where they said they had a vision and would start with the media. It was essentially saying we need cash. What is the quickest way to get to cash? Let’s get those entities that report to the person that we have influence over and take it from there.”

Zuma and the Guptas, who are Indian nationals, have consistently denied wrongdoing.

The commission stems from a 2016 anti-graft report by the Public Protector, a regulatory office with a robust constitutional mandate, that called for an investigation into what is known in South Africa as “state capture.”

The commission will be able to make recommendations for prosecutions.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)