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Duduzane Zuma denies allegations against him at Zondo Commission

EWN rounds up some of the interesting claims made by Duduzane Zuma at the Zondo Commission.

Duduzane Zuma at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on 7 October 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Duduzane Zuma on Monday concluded his first appearance at the Zondo Commission in Parktown where he denied a number of allegations previously leveled against him before the very same commission by some political figures.

Some of the allegations came from the likes of former deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas, who claimed that the Gupta family had, in Duduzane’s, presence offered him R600 million if he agreed to replace Nhlanhla Nene as Finance Minister.

Even former KZN Hawks head Johan Booysen claimed that the former president’s son misled him as to why he was meeting with the Guptas.

Well, the businessman took to the stand to defend himself against most of the claims that were presented before him and clarify some of the allegations.

'I SET UP THE MEETING BETWEEN JONAS, GUPTAS'

Former President Jacob Zuma’s son started off by admitting that he had indeed set up a meeting with Jonas and the Guptas back in 2015 but that was to address rumours the former deputy minister allegedly made about his “uncle” and controversial businessperson Fana Hlongwane. This claim contradicted the allegation that Duduzane took him there so that the Guptas could offer him R600 million if he agreed to replace Nene.

MEETING TOOK PLACE AT GUPTA RESIDENCE BECAUSE OF TIME ISSUES

The said meeting between Jonas and the Guptas was initially meant to take place at a hotel in Rosebank but a general consensus was met, because of time and proximity issues, to rather have it at the Gupta residence. Duduzana claimed that Jonas was aware of the venue change and never objected.

The commission was curious to find out why specifically at the Guptas house when Duduzane had many other options of hosting the meeting, including his own house located 600 metres away from the Gupta compound. He said that his home was a private residence and not for business.

…AND THE MEETING WAS ‘COOL’

Duduzane said he did not understand why Jonas went to such lengths to tell people about their meeting and that he was offered a ministerial position and claiming that the meeting did not end well. Zuma insisted the meeting ended fine and "everything was cool".

BEING ‘CONVENIENTLY’ PLACED AT A ‘CRIME SCENE’

Duduzane claimed that lies were being fabricated against him and he was conveniently being placed at crime scenes when Jonas’ and former Free State MEC Mxolisi Dukwana’s claims were made.

In April this year, Dukwana claimed Rajesh 'Tony' Gupta sent R1 million to African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule, while he was still the premier of the Free State, and to Zuma.

Dukwana was allegedly offered a R2 million monthly bribe by the Guptas on the condition that he signed off on a dodgy contract.

However, he said he had never met either Dukwana or Magashul e at the Gupta residence and found interesting that he was constantly present at these alleged meetings but did not utter a word.

WATCH: Duduzane Zuma hits back at allegations against him

WHAT CONFLICT OF INTEREST?

Duduzane said that Gupta-owned TV channel ANN7, just like any media house, was entitled to government advertising despite him being the son of former President Jacob Zuma.

Earlier this year, the commission learned how the Gupta family used its relationship with the Zumas to secure deals with government, including government advertising and SABC archive footage worth millions of dollars.

He believed there was no obvious conflict in government providing business to a TV station where he and the former president were heavily involved in.

'AGAIN, I NEVER MISLED ANYONE TO MEET THE GUPTAS'

Duduzane also dismissed allegations that he took former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen to the Gupta residence under false pretences.

The businessperson told the state capture commission that it was, in fact, Booysen’s persistent curiosity about the Gupta family that led them to the Saxonwold home.

He said the visit was meant to give Booysen a sense of who the family was, and it was agreed well in advance that the visit to the Gupta residence would take place.

WHERE IS VYTJIE MENTOR?

Duduzane also raised concern over the former ANC MP’s claims that it was he who introduced her to a man who was with the Guptas during a flight to China.

In August, Mentor told the commission that the former president’s son approached her while en route to China and presented two members of the Gupta family to her, along with the unnamed individual.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said he would consult with the commission’s legal team to find out what happened to Mentor’s evidence.

Duduzane returns on Tuesday to continue answering and defending himself before the commission.

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