Zwane: I wasn't aware that my flight to India was paid for by Guptas

Former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said it was just a coincidence that he and the choir would travel on the same flight that the Guptas had paid for.

Former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane takes the oath at the state capture commission on 13 May 2021. Picture: YouTube screengrab/SABC.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane on Thursday said he didn’t know that when he allowed a member of his choir to use his iPad, they were sending an email on arrangements for a trip to India.

Zwane said it was just a coincidence that he and the choir would travel on the same flight that the Guptas had paid for.

And to his knowledge, the department paid for his flight.

He said he also wasn’t aware that the Guptas had put his name on the list of people they had paid for on that flight.

“I did lend my gadget to a member of the choir who wanted to send an email. I did say I was not privy to the contents of that email.”

The state capture commission said on Thursday it would ask Zwane about what he called his brainchild, the Estina dairy farm, and if and how the Guptas were involved in it.

Advocate Pule Seleka said he would also ask about Zwane’s trips to India that were allegedly funded by the controversial family, as well as the landing of their wedding jet at the Waterkloof Air Base and his appointment as minister.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, though, said that it was suspicious that Zwane stayed in India for the same duration as the choir that he founded that was funded by the Guptas to travel there.

"You are one of the founders of the choir, or whatever the position is, you have an association with them. There is an email from your gadget which lists you as one of the people going on this trip which the choir. You are on the same flight as them to India, you stay in India for more or less the same period as them..."

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.