Duduzane Zuma admits to taking former KZN Hawks boss to 'meet and greet' at Gupta home

07 October 2019 - 16:28 By Amil Umraw
Duduzane Zuma, son of former president Jacob Zuma, takes the stand at the state capture commission in Johannesburg.
Duduzane Zuma, son of former president Jacob Zuma, takes the stand at the state capture commission in Johannesburg.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/Sunday Times

Duduzane Zuma admitted on Monday that he took former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen to meet the Gupta family at their Saxonwold home in 2015, but maintained it was just a "meet and greet".

And, Zuma said, he did so after apparent prompting by Booysen.

Zuma was testifying at the state capture inquiry when he responded to evidence given to the commission by Booysen earlier this year. Booysen's testimony does, in most part, correlate with Zuma's testimony.

The former Hawks boss told the commission that he was supposed to meet Zuma while with his son, Eben, in August 2015. He recalled that a Rolls Royce pulled up behind his son's parked car, and inside was Zuma.

Booysen said he was taken aback by the vehicle and accepted the ride with Zuma, expecting to be taken to his offices. However, they proceeded to the Gupta family's Saxonwold home.

There he met Rajesh Gupta and engaged in general conversation.

Duduzane Zuma took to the stand at the Zondo commission on Monday October 7 2019. Zuma testified to his version of numerous events, including the infamous Oakbay meeting and his part in television station ANN7.

"At some point, and this is where things turned funny, [Rajesh] raised the issue about me being shortlisted to become the head of the Hawks. Very few people knew that I had been shortlisted for the post. They said to me if I get appointed, we should have a supper in KwaZulu-Natal. I did not know what to make of it. I didn’t respond. I just smiled and nodded my head.

"No promises were made, no undertakings were given," said Booysen.

Zuma admitted on Monday that he did have a Rolls Royce at the time and that he took Booysen to the Guptas' home. However, he said Booysen knew where they were going.

LISTEN | Duduzane's testimony day 1 - It never happened

"On this specific day, and what leads to it, is that he [Booysen] would always ask questions about the Gupta family. In a few discussions prior to this eventful day, he had raised the question like: 'How are the guys?'. I said: 'Look, one day if there’s an opportunity I’ll take you to meet them.'

"The plan was to go to Saxonwold, and that’s exactly what we did. That was the only plan for the day," Zuma said.

He described the discussions at the home as "general".

He said Booysen being shortlisted for the Hawks job may have already been in the public domain.

"It was a meet and greet. There was no other specific purpose," he said.

During his testimony, Zuma dismissed accusations from former cabinet minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, who previously told the commission that Zuma had insisted on a meeting with him after Ramatlhodi was appointed mineral resources minister in May 2014. At the meeting, Zuma allegedly wanted Ramatlhodi to meet the Guptas to explain rumours that he had been badmouthing members of the family.

"I’m not sure what he [Ramatlhodi] is talking about. The only times I’ve met him was in passing. There was no formal sit-down. It’s an environmental issue because now we’ve printed a whole page printing stuff that shouldn’t be here," Zuma said in response.

He said he was "quite sure" the meeting never took place.

The commission's evidence leader, Phillip Mokoena, had by Monday afternoon concluded his line of questioning. Zuma will now be re-examined by his own lawyers.