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I didn't speak to the Guptas about Cabinet appointments - Zuma

Last year, Vytjie Mentor testified that Ajay Gupta offered her the public enterprises minister position if she agreed to cancel the lucrative SAA-India route.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 16 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

PARKTOWN - Former President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday he never discussed Cabinet appointments or reshuffles with members of the Gupta family.

Zuma has been replying to questions related to the testimony of former Member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor.

Mentor was among the first former senior public representatives who publicly claimed they were offered ministerial positions by the Gupta family.

Zuma fell out with alliance partners and the African National Congress leadership for failing to consult them on Cabinet reshuffles. But the former president insisted he always consulted them before changing his ministers.

"I consult a very select and few people. I always consult. At no stage could I do the reshuffle without people knowing, who's supposed to know."

He was, however, emphatic that he never spoke to the Gupta family about ministers.

"No, not at all. It has nothing to do with what happens in government," he said.

Zuma, however, did not rule out the possibility of members of the Gupta family obtaining the information elsewhere.

Last year, Mentor testified that Ajay Gupta offered her the public enterprises minister position if she agreed to cancel the lucrative SAA-India route.

She claimed Zuma was in the next room at the Gupta Saxonwold residence at the time, but Zuma has denied it.

Mentor’s testimony to the commission was disputed at the time.