Minister in the presidency for planning, monitoring and evaluation Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is one of the ministers who has visited the Guptas.
Dlamini-Zuma, who was narrowly defeated in the battle to become ANC president by President Cyril Ramaphosa in December last year, was asked by DA MP Shahid Esau whether she, since she served in Cabinet, has ever been influenced by any person or influenced her office’s employees to take any administrative actions on behalf of any member of the Gupta family.
He also wanted to know if she attended any meeting where any of the “specified persons” – as the Guptas are often called in Parliamentary questions – were present.
Dlamini-Zuma answered as follows: “No, I have never been influenced, nor have I influenced an employee to take administrative action on behalf of the person(s) specified.”
“I attended official meetings with Mr Ajay Gupta present when I was Minister of Foreign Affairs and he was a board member at Brand South Africa.”
“I was also invited and accepted an invitation to attend Diwali celebrations at the Gupta family home.”
Dlamini Zuma was minister of foreign affairs from 1999 to 2009, and then of home affairs from 2009 to 2012.
Her admission follows revelations that former finance ministers Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan also met the Guptas.
Nene resigned as finance minister after his testimony to this effect at the Zondo commission, having downplayed his meetings initially. Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises, is expected to testify before the commission this week.
The current Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba is the subject of a Parliamentary investigation by the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs about some members of the Gupta families’ naturalisation as South African citizens.
He also attended Diwali celebrations with the Guptas.
He said he visited the Guptas for “social cohesion reasons”, but denies they had any sway over him.
The committee will reconvene in early December.