NEWS

Another Gigaba Adviser Linked To The Guptas

Gigaba's erstwhile advisor reportedly travelled to India with Jacob Zuma's son.

26/06/2017 08:37 SAST | Updated 26/06/2017 09:56 SAST
Rogan Ward / Reuters
South Africa's Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba speaks with journalists at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 meeting in Durban, South Africa, May 5, 2017. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Finance minister Malusi Gigaba has once again been linked to the Gupta family, through another one of his advisers. According to The Times, Gigaba's erstwhile special adviser, when he was minister of public enterprises, Siyabonga Mahlangu, flew to India with President Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane. Free State premier Ace Magashule's son, Tshepiso, was reportedly also on the flight. The 10-day trip took place just two months after Mahlangu was appointed.

Gigaba is in hot water over the Guptas, with Parliament wanting to summon him to explain why he granted citizenship to the Gupta's without them having met the necessary requirements.

Another one of Gigaba's advisors, Thamsanqa Msomi, reportedly acted as a "fixer" at the department of home affairs, where Gigaba was minister.

According to The Times, the Gupta leaks show that 11 meeting were scheduled to take place between Tony Gupta and "Siya" between October 2012 and June 2013. The meetings were reportedly scheduled on the calendar of Sahara Systems chief executive Ashu Chawla.

In 2013, it was reported that Mahlangu was present at a meeting when then SAA chairman, Vuyisile Kona, was reportedly offered R500 000 by Tony Gupta. The emails show that a meeting between "Siya" and Gupta was scheduled for the day before the meeting, The Times reported.

Mahlangu previously admitted introducing Kona to the Guptas but denied knowledge of the R500 000 offer.

Mahlangu reportedly did not dispute that the visits happened but would not answer questions on the trips to India.

The Times also spoke to a source who said the Guptas wanted Mahlangu to be the director-general at the department of transport. But transport minister Ben Martins reportedly blocked the move.

"Around 2013, entirely of my own accord, I applied for the position of director-general at the Department of Transport, which had become vacant. Whilst I was interviewed, I was unsuccessful," Mahlangu said.

"I take exception that this was informed by anything other than my credentials and experience."

Gupta representatives did not respond to The Times' requests for comment.