Former Denel group CEO Riaz Saloojee has recounted a series of meetings he had with Guptas at their Saxonwold complex back in 2012, and it seems they were often keen on bringing some “very special guests” with them. The witness at the state capture inquiry has implicated Malusi Gigaba in the shenanigans that have crippled the country.

Saloojee made a raft of allegations pertaining to the Gupta brothers – he accused them of getting him fired when he wouldn’t take direct orders from them. Moreover, he also noted that friends of the family would also be allowed to conduct their business with government. Salim Essa was very much “a fixer” for the billionaires.

Who is Salim Essa?

He was present for all meetings Saloojee had with the Guptas, and even told the Denel chief that he had the support of “the old man” – a moniker the Indian trio often used to describe Jacob Zuma.

However, it would be Saloojee’s references to Malusi Gigaba that blew the lid off of the Zondo Commission. He describes the day he was ushered to Saxonwold, revealing how Gigaba acted as a “right-hand-man” for the brothers:

“All Gigaba said was, ‘Hello, how are you, Riaz?’ There was no discussion of Denel or anything of the sort. He [Gigaba] said, ‘These are my friends,’ and said, ‘If at some point you can assist them with anything, that would be good.”

“It was very clear that they wanted to show me, Chair, that they had support at the high political level. A few weeks later and I must say I was extremely reticent about engaging with Essa. There was also an element to know: what do these people want?”

Riaz Saloojee

State capture inquiry: How Malusi Gigaba became a Gupta stooge

Saloojee also claims that Gigaba revealed “these people are friends”, hinting it was important to cooperate. The witness then stated that Essa – who escorted him back to where they first met – said there was no need to worry, as the Guptas are “good people”.

The political rot doesn’t stop there, either. In the next two meetings, the ex-Denel CEO says that Duduzane Zuma was present. In Saloojee’s mind, this was a clear show of force from the businessmen, who wanted to exhibit just how connected they really were.

A third and final meeting is then alleged to have involved Ace Magashule’s son, who hasn’t been fully named. It was there that Saloojee claims he turned down a bribe from the Guptas, much to the chagrin of Tony:

Malusi Gigaba and the Guptas

Malusi Gigaba has been in the spotlight again recently after he was announced as one of the ANC’s Parliamentary candidates. This comes just months after he was forced to resign from the cabinet in disgrace.

It was revealed earlier this week that Gigabyte lied to the National Assembly about the Guptas’ naturalisation, and a portfolio committee recommended their South African citizenship should be terminated.

His connections to the Guptas have always been shadowy. But in the full glare of the state capture inquiry, Malusi Gigaba has seemingly been exposed to the light. Which is quite remarkable really, given that Stage 4 load shedding remains in place.

-TheSouthAfrican

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Former Denel group CEO Riaz Saloojee has recounted a series of meetings he had with Guptas at their Saxonwold complex back in 2012, and it seems they were often keen on bringing some “very special guests” with them. The witness at the state capture inquiry has implicated Malusi Gigaba in the...