‘Ajay Gupta was Malusi Gigaba’s unofficial advisor’ – Norma Mngoma
Malusi Gigaba’s estranged wife testified at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, where she said Gigaba returned with bags of cash after visits to the Gupta residence.
JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission heard on Monday that former Minister Malusi Gigaba knew the Guptas influenced his appointment and those of Brian Molefe and Siyabonga Gama as CEOs of Eskom and Transnet.
The Zondo commission has also been told he knew that while he was appointed Finance Minister, Molefe was the person that former President Jacob Zuma actually wanted in that position.
All this was confirmed by Gigaba’s estranged wife Norma Mngoma who testified reluctantly at the state capture commission on Monday evening.
Gigaba and Mngoma tried but failed to convince Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that he didn’t have the power to revoke their marital privilege.
In the end, Mngoma was ordered to testify against Gigaba in public.
Evidence leader Advocate Anton Myburgh asked Mngoma from whom Gigaba received the news that he was going to the Department of Public Enterprises.
She replied, “Ajay Gupta.”
Mngoma said Ajay Gupta was Gigaba’s unofficial advisor.
Myburgh asked what Ajay briefed Gigaba about, to which she replied, “Sometimes SAA, sometimes Transnet,” including about people who should be appointed at Transnet.
WATCH: The highlights of Norma Mngoma's testimony at state capture inquiry
Mngoma said that Gigaba personally welcomed Gupta wedding guests at the Waterkloof Military Airbase when the family’s plane landed in the infamous 2013 abuse of state power.
The commission also heard how police escorted the wedding convoy to Sun City for the multi-million rand event.
Many ministers have previously distanced themselves from any knowledge that arrangements for the Guptas to land their plane at Waterkloof had been approved by Cabinet.
And senior officials have refused to name ministers that gave them instructions.
But Mngoma said her estranged husband not only knew about the abuse of this national key point - but personally ensured that it happened.
She testified that she and Gigaba went to Waterkloof to welcome the wedding guests.
“So when we left the airport we went home and I saw a lot of blue lights escorting the members of the Guptas when they were leaving the airport.”
BAGS OF CASH
She said it was after this wedding that Gigaba began his frequent visits to the Gupta’s residence where he received money for ANC elections, his suits and her trips overseas.
“I saw him taking money into the safe.”
When asked by Myburgh who Gigaba said the money was from, Mngoma replied it was from Ajay and to be used for ANC elections.
She said the cash shocked her and Gigaba’s bodyguards, but that she would get up to R100,000 of it at a time to go shopping overseas.
She also said that Ajay gifted their son a gold necklace and gave her estranged husband a white BMW.
Mngoma also touched on her reluctance to testify – revealing she received threats after the commission announced that she would give her side of the state capture story.