Mounting evidence of Zwane-Gupta collaboration
Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane not only used the Guptas' private jet during a trip to Dubai and Switzerland two years ago, he also spent three nights at the same five-star Zurich hotel as the Guptas and their business associates.
When the Sunday Times first reported on Zwane's trip to negotiate a mining deal with Glencore, his office claimed that he had been invited by investors to promote South Africa's potential for mining investments.
Zwane also claimed in April last year in replies to questions in parliament that he had never met the Guptas or their associates since being appointed minister in September 2015.But documentation obtained by the Sunday Times, including leaked Gupta e-mails and the itinerary for his trip sent by his office to the embassy in Switzerland, reveal that the minister and the Gupta group stayed at the same hotel. The documents show that Zwane arrived in Switzerland on November 30 2015, the same day the Guptas did, to negotiate the purchase of Optimum coal mine with Glencore.
An e-mail sent by Siyabonga Hadebe, the director for international co-ordination in Zwane's office, to the Department of International Relations and Co-operation on November 27 shows that Zwane intended to hold meetings for three days with Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg at the Dolder Grand hotel. This is the same hotel that Tony Gupta and his business associates Salim Essa and Paras Lodha - who was arrested in India for alleged money laundering last year - checked into.
Zwane's office previously claimed that he had been on an official trip because he had been "responding to specific invitations from major investment companies, including Glencore". But Hadebe's e-mail made no mention of any invitation.
The Sunday Times has been reliably informed that no such official invitation was ever extended to Zwane by either Glencore or any other major company in Europe.
Zwane did not have any other meetings with "major investment companies" in Zurich. His itinerary lists only the three meetings he held with Glasenberg.
After the last meeting Zwane flew out of Zurich on December 2 with the Guptas in their private jet.
Glencore spokesman Charles Watenphul said the company was in no position to comment about the meetings.Thuli was right on the money
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s 2016 State of Capture report lifted the lid on the influence the Gupta family had in government and some state entities. Leaked Gupta e-mails have revealed the extent to which prominent people have been captured by the brothers, who have close ties to President Jacob Zuma.
Des van Rooyen
● E-mails show that the Guptas paid for his one-day holiday to Dubai in December 2015. This was after he lied and claimed that he had paid for his trip and had planned to stay for a week. The Guptas booked him into the five-star Oberoi hotel and paid for a chauffeured Jaguar XJL from the airport to the hotel. The Sunday Times last year exposed how Van Rooyen’s advisers — two days after his appointment as finance minister —leaked confidential cabinet information to Gupta associates.
● Zuma’s son has been central to the state capture scandal. The Guptas drafted a letter on behalf of Zuma to move his family to Dubai. The Guptas also helped Duduzane to buy an R18-million apartment in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai two years ago, and paid for his wedding.Dan Mantsha
● The Denel board chairman leaked confidential communications between Denel and the State Security Agency about the Guptas’ attempts to take over the luxury airport terminal at OR Tambo. Mantsha also sent his personal municipal bill to the Guptas. It’s unclear if the Guptas settled the bill.
● The suspended former acting CEO of Eskom spent two days in Dubai at the expense of the Guptas and was also booked into the Oberoi hotel. Following this, Gupta companies received contracts from Eskom.
● The former communications minister leaked confidential cabinet information to Tony Gupta. She informed the Guptas about the powers conferred on her by Zuma even before the cabinet had seen the documents.
● The Guptas spied on some CEOs of South Africa’s top banks, a former cabinet minister and a rival in a tender deal. Absa CEO Maria Ramos and her husband, Trevor Manuel, are among the executives whose travel itineraries were in the possession of a Gupta executive.
● Zuma, according to the e-mails, introduced Duduzane to Rocha, who was then deputy director-general in the Department of Minerals and Energy. They met at Zuma’s official Pretoria residence in 2009 where the president asked him to help his son. Rocha later resigned.