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Since you asked... here's the case against Duduzane Zuma

29 August 2017 - 12:14 By Timeslive
Duduzane Zuma. File Photo.
Duduzane Zuma. File Photo.

President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane says there is no evidence suggesting that he and the Gupta family are guilty of corruption.

“People are innocent until proven guilty. I challenge you – take me to Court if you think you have a case‚” he says in an open letter to former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

An investigation by the Hawks found no wrong doing‚ whistle blowers failed to produce evidence when asked to by the ANC and there were no conclusive findings by the Public Protector’s report on state capture – he said in the letter published on Monday. It was penned as the Gupta family were selling various assets to focus on clearing their names.

So‚ then‚ what’s all the fuss about? Is there a case against Duduzane Zuma and the Gupta family?

Yes‚ there is‚ according to the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA). OUTA laid charges of treason‚ racketeering‚ extortion‚ fraud and forgery against all of them early in August.

The criminal complaint was supported by an affidavit‚ linking the four men and showing their influence on the levers of power in South Africa.

“They are at the heart of state capture‚” claimed OUTA chief operating officer Ben Theron. His affidavit was based on a damning cache of leaked Gupta family e-mails.

Here’s a recap. In a summary compiled by OUTA‚ the affidavit handed to police alleged that:

The Gupta brothers and Duduzane Zuma ran a substantial business empire‚ linked to illegal state capture‚ benefiting by billions of rand in allegedly illegitimate deals facilitated by compliant ministers and state officials.

Those named in the affidavit as linked to this group included:

● Jacinto Rocha‚ a senior official in the Department of Mineral Resources who helped the Guptas and Duduzane gain lucrative mining rights;

● Gloria Bongi Ngema-Zuma‚ one of the President’s wives: in a hidden transaction‚ the Guptas helped buy her a R5.4 million house in Waterkloof Ridge in Pretoria;

● Duduzile Zuma‚ the twin sister of Duduzane and the President’s daughter‚ who spent 13 months as a director of a Gupta company‚ appointed when it was clear her father would soon be President;

● Iqbal Sharma‚ the chair of Transnet’s Acquisitions and Disposals committee when train deals were signed‚ who shared confidential documents with the Guptas;

● Brian Molefe‚ former CE of Transnet and then Eskom‚ a good friend of the Guptas;

● Anoj Singh‚ former CFO of Transnet and current (suspended) CFO of Eskom‚ who had paid excursions to Dubai at Gupta expense;

● Mogokare Richard Seleke‚ Director General of Public Enterprises‚ the cut-out who passed confidential information from Eskom to the Guptas‚ inserted himself into state-owned entities’ deals and helped the Guptas buy a coal mine cheaply;

● Mosebenzi Zwane‚ Minister of Mineral Resources‚ who helped arrange the Waterkloof wedding landing and cost South Africa about R2 billion which went to the Guptas from a dairy project and the disappearance of two mine rehabilitation trust funds;

● Faith Muthambi‚ Minister of Public Service and Administration‚ who‚ as Minister of Communications‚ shared confidential Cabinet information with the Guptas and appointed her compliant friend Hlaudi Motsoeneng to help their broadcasting interests; ● Collin Matjila‚ who served on Eskom’s board and was in business with Gupta associates;

● Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown‚ who made various appointments‚ including to SOE boards‚ which were favourable to the Guptas;

● Ben Ngubane‚ the former chairman of the Eskom board who was in business with Gupta associates;

● Mark Pamensky‚ an Eskom director who was in business with the Guptas. OUTA has laid charges of high treason against Seleke‚ Zwane and Muthambi.

● Theron’s affidavit said that “state patronage of the Gupta family is directly linked to the business interests of Duduzane Zuma”;

● That Duduzane and the Guptas knew about Cabinet reshuffles in advance and could influence these‚ apparently to promote their business interests;

● Duduzane provides access to his father the President; and

● People who were well-disposed towards the Guptas were appointed to high public office after their CVs were forwarded to Duduzane‚ such as Mosebenzi Zwane‚ Richard Seleke and Collin Matjila. Central to all this‚ claimed the affidavit‚ was the President’s son.

“It is difficult to imagine an innocent explanation for Duduzane Zuma’s meteoric rise within the Sahara organisation‚” said Theron.

“He was first appointed to Sahara’s board of directors on 13 August 2008. At the time‚ he was only 26 years old and could boast no obvious qualifications …

“At the age of 35‚ Duduzane Zuma has amassed a vast fortune. He has multiple business interests many of which involve the Gupta family.”

* An earlier version of this story suggested that the Chief Operations Officer in the Presidency‚ Lakela Kaunda‚ was involved in a Gupta attempt to buy the Ubank. She was a director of Ubank until 2014 when she resigned. Kaunda did not have any business dealings with the Gupta family.