‘I have never seen Jonas in my life’: Ajay Gupta

Ajay Gupta denies allegations of state capture and says he has never met the deputy minister of finance, Mcebisi Jonas.

The family is accused of trying to “capture the state”, using their friendship with president Jacob Zuma to secure lucrative contracts and strengthen their business dealings with government.

Despite the allegations and accusations, however, the family has not been formally charged with any crimes.

In March Jonas claimed that the Gupta family offered him the role of finance minister – an offer which he said he outright rejected.

“Members of the Gupta family offered me the position of minister of finance to replace then-minister Nene. I rejected this out of hand. The basis of my rejection of their offer is
that it makes a mockery of our hard earned democracy, the trust of our people and no one apart from the President of the Republic appoints ministers,” Jonas said at the time.

In March, ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe called on politicians to come forward to provide evidence of an alleged attempt at state capture. In May he said that there was no evidence of Gupta influence after only eight people came forward, while only one person provided a written statement.

Read: Mantashe ‘ignored’ document on Gupta state capture: report

Speaking as a member of the audience at SABC’s Morning Live breakfast show in Sandton on Wednesday, Ajay Gupta denied attempts of state capture. He said that he was merely a friend of president Zuma.

On the question of Jonas, he said: “Mr Jonas is a respectable deputy minister of the country. By oath, I can say I have never seen him in my life.”

He said that former chairman of Oakbay, Atul Gupta has never met many of the politicians caught up in the claims of state capture.

On a question of whether any of the Gupta brothers had taken a meeting with any members of cabinet, he said: “many times” to discuss many things in the presidential guest house as part of business related forums.

More on state capture

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“Guptas did offer me the job of Finance Minister”: Jonas

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‘I have never seen Jonas in my life’: Ajay Gupta