STATE CAPTURE INQUIRY

We refused Gupta invite to dinner: Ngoako Ramatlhodi's ex-adviser

28 November 2018 - 15:52 By AMIL UMRAW
Sam Muofhe, the former adviser to former minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, at the state capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg, on November 28 2018.
Sam Muofhe, the former adviser to former minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, at the state capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg, on November 28 2018.
Image: Masi Losi

Former adviser Sam Muofhe said he and former minister of mineral resources Ngoako Ramatlhodi “declined a directive” to attend a dinner at the Gupta compound in Saxonwold. 

Muofhe told the state capture inquiry on Wednesday how he received a letter from a Gupta-associated company “directing” him to attend a dinner at the family’s compound, a week after Ramatlhodi took office in 2015. 

“The letter I received from one of the Gupta companies was addressed to me, directing me and [Ramatlhodi] to report to Saxonwold for dinner and to discuss a working relationship... It was not a request in the normal sense where you are requesting someone to have dinner. You are directing a person to come and have dinner at your place. We were directed to be there on a Thursday,” Muofhe said. 

“I suspect that the letter was by fax because it was brought to my desk by one of the colleagues... Before I could even respond, I then received a call from someone who called himself a Gupta reminding me that we have a dinner. It was on the same day.”

Muofhe told the commission he did not know which of the Gupta brothers had called him. 

“It’s a call with someone saying he is so-and-so Gupta. I don’t know who the person is personally. It was a male. My response was that personally I am not interested in having dinner with them or discussing a working relationship with them. I said I will oblige and inform the minister accordingly that there is this directive.”

Muofhe said he informed Ramatlhodi about the letter and the phone call.

“I also told the minister that I’ve told the caller that from my part I am not interested with meeting with them... The minister, without even winking, said to me ‘decline the directive’ and I accordingly declined that directive,” Muofhe said.

“The manner in which I responded to them, they understood that we don’t have any interest in interacting with them and to the best of my knowledge that was the only time I engaged with them.”

Muofhe’s testimony is continuing.

Former mineral resources minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi didn't hold back at the Zondo commission of inquiry on November 28 2018. Ramatlhodi went as far as saying that the ANC was in a ‘season of madness’ during Jacob Zuma’s tenure.


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