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Gupta leaks to be protected by Zondo commission until presented as evidence

Raymond Zondo ruled that the three hard drives containing about 200,000 emails allegedly sent between the Guptas and their associates be admitted into evidence at the inquiry.

FILE: Deputy Chief Justice Zondo during the first public hearing on state capture allegations in Johannesburg on 20 August 2018. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo says no one outside of the state capture commission will be allowed access to emails now known as the Gupta leaks until they are presented as evidence.

Zondo ruled that the three hard drives containing about 200,000 emails allegedly sent between the Guptas, their business associates and government officials be admitted into evidence at the inquiry.

The commission is slowly working its way through claims of looting, abuse of power and violations of government processes that allegedly benefitted the Guptas and others linked to former President Jacob Zuma.

The inquiry's legal team applied for three hard drives to be admitted into evidence after highlighting the importance and value of the data they contain.

Lawyer Brian Currin testified on Thursday that two whistleblowers - known only as Stan and John were at the centre of leaking this data - which contains a trove of emails that will likely help the commission with its work into state capture.

The data will remain with the commission and will not be publicly available until its presented as evidence or until a particular party is given permission to access the emails.

The emails may be used to cross-examine witnesses or even as a basis to subpoena persons of interest.

Proceedings have been adjourned until next Wednesday when Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is expected to testify.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)