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Duduzane Zuma: I set up the meeting between the Guptas & Jonas

Former President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane said the meeting was held at the Gupta compound because of proximity and time issues, despite the fact that he also had a house in Saxonwold.

Duduzane Zuma at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on 10 October 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Duduzane Zuma has on Monday defended why he held a meeting between former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas, the Guptas and himself.

He said the meeting was held at the Gupta compound because of proximity and time issues, despite the fact that he also had a house in Saxonwold.

Zuma is appearing at the state capture commission of inquiry in Parktown where he is giving his side of events relating to claims made by Jonas.

Evidence leader Phillip Mokoena asked if a meeting took place at the Gupta compound and if he was the one who suggested the meeting to take place at the compound.

Zuma agreed that he was the one who set up the meeting between the Guptas, Jonas and himself.

During his testimony at the commission in March, Jonas alleged that the former president’s son drove him to the Guptas’ Saxonwold home, where he was offered the job of finance minister together with a R600 million bribe to do the family’s bidding.

Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, who became the first Cabinet minister to testify at the state capture commission earlier this year, also told the inquiry he believed he was fired by former President Jacob Zuma in 2015 because he refused to approve projects such as the nuclear programme that benefited the Guptas.

Nene made shocking revelations about his meetings with the Gupta family at their Saxonworld compound, saying he regarded those visits as one of his tasks as deputy minister.

Zuma previously admitted that he and controversial businessman Fana Hlongwane did meet with Jonas at the Guptas’ home but that was to address rumours the former deputy minister allegedly made about Hlongwane.

He explained that the meeting was initially scheduled to take place at the Hyatt hotel in Rosebank, but a decision was taken to move it to the Guptas’ home and still maintained Jonas never objected to this.

Mokoena asked why they chose the Gupta residence over Luthuli House, Zuma said he did not make sense to him why they would host a private meeting at Luthuli House because what they were discussing there had nothing to do with politics.

It was also revealed he also owned a house in Saxonwold, 600 metres away from the Gupta compound.

“I have conducted many meetings at the Gupta place… my residence was purely a private residence for my stay…” he said.

Seeking further clarity, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asked again why the meeting was held at the compound but the former president’s son insisted that the meeting was rather a private meeting.

Zuma did not appear under subpoena but because he wanted to be there. His legal team reiterated that his appearance was an inquisitive hearing, meaning that there are questions he may or not be able to answer.

Meanwhile, former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi will be cross-examined at the state capture commission on Wednesday.

Zondo approved Armscor CEO Kevin Wakeford’s application to examine allegations made against him by Agrizzi.

Another former employee of Bosasa, Frans Vorster, also implicated Wakeford in his testimony.

Wakeford has consistently denied allegations that he was involved in impropriety while working for Bosasa as a consultant on the political economy for eight years.

WATCH: Duduzane Zuma at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry

Additional reporting by Theto Mahlakoana

For a live blog on his testimony, click here.

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