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There was no conflict of interest in govt advertising on ANN7 - Duduzane Zuma

Duduzane is testifying at the Zondo commission of inquiry in Parktown.

Duduzane Zuma at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on 10 October 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Duduzane Zuma on Monday 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.

Duduzane is testifying at the Zondo commission of inquiry in Parktown.

Earlier this year, former Anews editor Rajesh Sundaram of the now-defunct news channel made shocking claims at the state capture commission of inquiry that the Gupta family used their friendship with the former president and Duduzane to get favours in government, including buying historic SABC archive footage worth millions of dollars for far less than the material's value.

Duduzane owned 30% of the shares of Infinity Media, a company that owned the station.

Last year, National Treasury’s director of operations and implementation of financial systems Ian Gilliland alleged that the Guptas pocketed R260 million in government advertising that went to the TV channel and newspaper The New Age.

“For us to be in line for government advertising should never been an issue. The conflict of myself being the son of the president at that time… I think that’s an unfair point to make. The fact of the matter is that it was a TV station, it was a start-up and just like any other channel, I implore government to fund start-ups,” Duduzane said.

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

'I DON'T KNOW WHY JONAS WAS UPSET OVER GUPTA MEETING'

Duduzane said he was in the dark about why former deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas was incensed by the controversial 2015 meeting at the Gupta residence.

Zuma explained to the commission that he thought "everything was cool" after the meeting between him, Jonas and controversial businessman Fana Hlongwane.

The commission is questioning Zuma about the meeting, which Jonas testified was used to bribe him to take over the position of Finance Minister.

Duduzane, who described the contents of the meeting with Hlongwane and Jonas as personal, said he has no idea why the latter was angered by the gathering.

Jonas testified at the commission that the Gupta family had in Duduzane’s presence offered him R600 million if he agreed to replace Nhlanhla Nene as Finance Minister.

He further spoke about the experience on several platforms, saying he was disturbed by the advances made to him.

When asked why Jonas would fabricate evidence to implicate him, the former president’s son had this to say: “I have no idea, I do not want to jump into speculation but if I may add something to that as well but I think the question that should be asked is why didn’t anyone ask me for my view or my version.”

Questioned about why he did not open criminal or civil cases against Jonas or even approach the African National Congress (ANC) with the issue, Duduzane explained that the matter had nothing to do with the party.

WATCH: Duduzane Zuma at the state capture commission of inquiry Part 2

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