Ajay Gupta denies under oath he ever met Jonas
Ernest Mabuza | 2017-02-10 16:41:34.0
Image by: Times Media
Businessman Ajay Gupta has denied under oath ever meeting or speaking to Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas.
Gupta made this assertion in his affidavit dated February 9 in a Pretoria high court case involving Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments.
Gordhan seeks an order declaring that he is not by law empowered or obliged to intervene in the relationship between Oakbay companies and the banks.
The allegation that Jonas met Gupta is contained in the public protector’s report on State Capture‚ which was prepared by the previous incumbent Thuli Madonsela but released by the current Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in November last year.
Gordhan also mentioned the efforts allegedly made by Gupta to induce Jonas to commit an unlawful act in his replying affidavit in the present case‚ which was filed last month.
In that affidavit‚ Gordhan said the Public Protector report stated that Jonas was taken to the Saxonwold home of the Guptas where he was offered money and promotion as minister of finance.
The Public Protector report mentions that Jonas claimed President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane and businessman Fana Hlongwane met Gupta at his home on October 23 2015.
In his affidavit accompanying a supplementary affidavit submitted by Oakbay‚ Gupta said his affidavit was meant to clarify a serious distortion of facts which caused him and his family severe hardship and negative publicity.
Gupta said he was disturbed by allegations Gordhan presented as fact without even attempting to obtain a confirmatory affidavit from Jonas‚ who was – in all likelihood – occupying an office right next to the minister.
Gupta said the “incident” with Jonas was created in order to support the wave of adverse media attention and to achieve the political advantage gained from creating a media hype from an incident which never occurred.
Gupta said it was important to deal with this allegation to ensure nobody could ever say he kept quiet when he was confronted with these allegations.
“Let me commence … to clearly and unambiguously state under oath that I have never met Mr Mcebisi Jonas‚ not as alleged or at all‚” Gupta said.
Gupta said Jonas was blatantly dishonest when he suggested he met with him.
“I have challenged Mr Jonas‚ and I do so again‚ to prove that he met with me as alleged.”
Gupta said to support his denial of ever meeting Jonas‚ he approached Duduzane Zuma and Hlongwane to depose affidavits regarding his involvement at the meeting in October 2015.
Both businessmen‚ in separate affidavits‚ said Gupta was not present at any time during the meeting with Jonas held “on 25 October 2017” [sic].
– TMG Digital