I didn’t know the Guptas were up to no good, Gigaba tells Zondo Inquiry

Former Cabinet Minister Malusi Gigaba has denied at the state capture commission on Wednesday that he delayed Financial Intelligence Centre Act amendments because the Guptas didn’t want them.

A screengrab of former Public Enterprises minister, Malusi Gigaba, appearing at the state capture commission on 21 June 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Former Minister Malusi Gigaba said he didn’t know what the Guptas were up to and just because he was friends with Ajay Gupta, that didn’t mean he aided their actions or that he was complicit.

Gigaba has denied at the state capture commission on Wednesday that he delayed Financial Intelligence Centre Act amendments because the Guptas didn’t want them.

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He also denied that he allowed them to bring marine mining firm Alexkor to its knees.

“Nothing presented here places me anywhere near the money; I have not taken the money, I have not delivered the money anywhere, I’ve not been part of the contracts - so to the extent that it happened during my tenure it would be purely coincidental,” Gigaba said.

He said appointments of executives and board members of SOEs made during his time were not influenced by the Guptas.

But what about appointing Gupta-linked Scarlet Sky to market and sell diamonds for Alexkor - even though it had no license or experience - and making the company abandon marine mining in the Northern Cape to go into coal mining in Mpumalanga?

“That I set the wheels in motion for the establishment of Alex Coal? I reject that.”

But evidence leader Advocate Anton Myburgh said the coincidence couldn’t be ignored: “This looting was not conducted by some unknown entity, it was being conducted by the Gupta brothers and one of them was your friend.”

Gigaba responded, saying: “I knew Mr Ajay and there are many people that we all know, and many get involved in wrongdoing and knowing a person doesn’t make you complicit in their wrongdoing if they are involved in wrongdoing.”

Gigaba has concluded his evidence, but is yet to cross-examine his estranged wife Norma Mngoma.

WATCH: Gigaba: Knowing the Guptas doesn’t mean I’m complicit in their crimes

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