An affidavit submitted to the commission on state capture by Ajay Gupta reportedly fervently denies the allegations made by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas against him.
He has accused Jonas of lying about meeting with him in an alleged attempt to “falsely implicate” Gupta in wrongdoing. Although the affidavit was filed on September 2, TimesLIVE reports that they received it for the first time on Thursday afternoon and made the contents public.
In the affidavit, which was presumably drafted in Dubai, Gupta says he made no offer of a ministerial post to Jonas, who had told the commission that Gupta attempted to bribe him in 2015 with an offer of R600 million and the position of finance minister if he favoured Gupta interests.
Gupta wrote: “I did not make any offer to him to pay him either R600,000 cash or offer to pay him R600m in an account of his choice. I did not have any knowledge of any upcoming Cabinet reshuffling and or about ministers that may be fired and I did not have any influence over the appointment of any members of the National Executive, nor did I ever have such influence.”
He claims he is able to prove he wasn’t in the places Jonas claims he met with him or his associates (first a hotel and then the Gupta Saxonwold home), and was in fact that at Oakbay’s Sandton offices when the meeting was meant to have taken place. He reportedly claims cellphone records would back him up and several staff members had seen him there.
He also slammed former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s questions from her state capture probe. He claims Madonsela did not accurately capture the detail of his cellphone records and that she had asked him leading questions suggestive of bias.
Jonas’ testimony last month left open the possibility that it may not have been Ajay he met with, but rather another of the Gupta brothers, or possibly just someone who looked Indian. Jonas admitted he could not exclude the possibility that it was Rajesh Gupta.
He added: “I point out that it is highly unlikely that the meeting took place, because if it did in the manner alleged by Mr Jonas, he would immediately have reported it to the nearest police station as he as any other ordinary citizen was legally obliged and duty bound under the law, to do”.
Gupta also reportedly criticised Jonas for telling the inquiry he had threatened to kill him. He pointed out that Jonas had earlier never mentioned this to Madonsela, even though she had apparently specifically asked him if he’d received any threats.