Former Denel CEO, Riaz Salooje says he first met with two of the Gupta brothers and then Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba in 2012 at the family’s Saxonwold residence for a meeting.
Salooje, who is giving evidence at the State Capture inquiry in Johannesburg, says the meeting was organised by Gupta associate, Salim Essa.
“I was not aware that this was the residence at that point in time. He said ‘don’t worry. This has the support of the very top.’ And then we get to the place and we get inside and I’m taken into a room and introduced to Tony Gupta and it’s the first time I’ve met with Tony Gupta (sic). And then shortly after that, Tony escorts me into another room and in another room, he introduces me and says this is my brother; and in the room was also Minister Malusi Gigaba. Gigaba said ‘these are my friends’ and he hopes that at some point, if there is anything that you can do with them that can be good and that.”
Saloojee has told the Zondo Commission that he felt pressured to attend meetings organised by Salim Essa. He says he was summoned to a second meeting where he met with Duduzane Zuma and Ace Magashule’s son.
Saloojee says he felt uncomfortable with the meetings involving family of senior ANC leaders.
“When I get into the room there, Tony Gupta and Essa are present there; but there was also another individual who was there and I was introduced to the individual as Duduzane Zuma, and later there was another individual who was there for a short while who Tony Gupta said is Ace Magashule’s son. And Essa took a lead at the meeting and he said I should understand that they supported my appointment. I was extremely surprised when he made this statement.”
Meanwhile, DA Shadow Minister of Home Affairs Haniff Hoosen, says strong action must be taken against Gigaba for approving the early naturalisation of the Gupta family without following due procedures.
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has found that the early naturalisation of the Gupta family was fraudulent.
It has concluded its investigation into the naturalisation of the influential family. According to the committee’s report, the Guptas did not comply with the requirements to renounce Indian citizenship. It recommends that criminal charges be taken against the Guptas and intermediary Ashu Chawla for falsifying naturalisation citizenship.
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