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#GuptaEmails: Guptas asked to buy airtime for ANC election agents

2017-06-02 21:15

Cape Town – The Guptas were asked to buy airtime for 362 ANC agents in the Free State a day before the 2014 general elections, emails leaked from the family have revealed.

On May 6, 2014, Mosidi Motsemme, an employee at the Free State provincial legislature, emailed a list of party agents to Free State premier Ace Magashule’s son Tshepiso, with the following request:

“Attached please receive a list of FS ANC party agents in need of airtime, they all use MTN. It will be appreciated if air time amounting to R120 per person could be loaded today, 06 May 2014.”

This was “as per directive of FS ANC Chaiperson (sic) “. Ace Magashule is the ANC’s Free State chairperson.

The list was also forwarded to a person named Kabelo Nthongoa, who forwarded it Tony Gupta.

It was unclear if the airtime was ever bought.

The leaked e-mails reveal that the Gupta’s company, Sahara Computers, sponsored trips to Dubai for Tshepiso Magashule and his brother Thatho. Shortly afterwards, they paid for a trip for President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane.

Zuma’s trip to Dubai was booked on December 4, 2015, shortly before his father fired Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister on December 9.

The flight was from OR Tambo International Airport to Dubai International Airport on December 6, returning on the 20th.

The Magashule brothers’ flights were also booked on December 4. They left South Africa on December 15 and returned on the 24th.

Luxurious hotels 

They stayed at the luxurious Oberoi hotel in Dubai and Sahara picked up the tab. There are emails from the hotel’s sales manager Sarah Ben Haouem to Sahara CEO Ashu Chawla.

Thatho Magashule’s bill was 10 240 Emirati Dirham. This amounts to approximately R36 000 at the current exchange rate.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the emails provided “solid evidence” that the ANC, at all levels, shared a “close beneficial relationship with the Guptas”.

“The corrupt rot within the ANC extends throughout the organisation, all the way through to the provincial structures of the ANC. Members of the ANC have the Guptas on speed dial, providing finances for their every need,” said Maimane.

This week he laid charges of corruption and treason against Zuma, the three Gupta brothers Atul, Ajay and Tony, and eight others.

“To stop the corrupt Gupta empire, we need to stop the whole ANC. Corruption is an enemy of the people that steals jobs and robs the poor of opportunities, and we must end it at once.”

Ace Magashule’s spokesperson could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The ANC on Friday called on government to institute a process to establish the veracity of the emails and get explanations from those implicated. It said it was concerned by the emails, which contained worrying claims about the nature of the relationship between government and private interests, spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

He reiterated the ANC national executive committee’s resolution to call for the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture.

The Gupta’s lawyer Gert van der Merwe earlier said the leaks were part of a political smear campaign and that the family had been advised to lay criminal charges against the media houses reporting on them.