By Pinky Khoabane
Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas was not at Saxonwold on the day he supposedly was offered a bag full of R600 000 including R600 million later. This is according to phone records in the State Capture Report. The offer for the appointment of finance minister and the cash cannot have been made in Saxonwold according to the phone records in Thuli Madonsela’s State Capture Report.
“Whilst the records place both Mr Hlongwane and Mr D. Zuma at Saxonwold, they did not show Mr Jonas at the same location. The records however show that Mr Jonas was at the airport later on the same date, which also confirms his version of events”.
To which version of events is the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela referring?
Parts of Jonas’s testimony to the Public Protector:
d) On 17 October 2015, he received several text messages from Mr D. Zuma;
e) The initial messages were about the invitation to attend the South African Awards Ceremony hosted by the Gupta family;
f) The event was scheduled for 18 October 2015 and Mr Jonas declined the invite due to his busy schedule;
The telephone records in the State Capture Report indicate that on 17 October 2015, Jonas SMSed Duduzane Zuma:
17 October 2016
Jonas: “Hi Cde, Tried to call u. Mcebisi Jonas”
There’s no evidence to the invitation by Duduzane Zuma to an event that was a day later.
There is no further communication until 19 October 2015, when Jonas again, SMSes D Zuma:
Jonas: “Can we talk when land?” 2015/10/19. 12:38:07PM
Jonas: “Called” 2015/10/19 9:43:15
Was this a man truly reluctant to meet Duduzane Zuma because he had links to the Guptas as he stated in his testimony to Public Protector?
In his testimony to the Public Protector, Jonas says he agreed to meet D Zuma on 23 October 2016.
Duduzane Zuma contacted him on 22/10/2015:
D Zuma: “Good morning Sir, I trust that you made it out of Parliament Building unscathed. I tried to call, please return my call when. Kindest regards, Duduzani.
Jonas: “We can make it 1:30 same place.”
D Zuma: “Agreed Sir”
Jonas: “Can you call me”
Jonas: “Here already”
D Zuma: “Im on my way”
In terms of the Madonsela’s analysis:
- The telephone records show that Mr D. Zuma was at Saxonwold on 23 October 2016 from 14:00 PM to 17:10 PM;
- The records show that Mr Hlongwane was also at Saxonwold on 23 October 2016 from 14:02 PM to 15:19 PM;
According to Jonas’s testimony.
j) Mr D. Zuma later arrived and a short while into the meeting, indicated that the place was crowded and he needed to move to a more private place for a discussion with a third party to which he agreed. The location was not disclosed to him;
k) Using Mr D. Zuma’s vehicle, they travelled together to what later Mr Jonas found to be the Gupta family residence in Saxonwold;
l) He was unfamiliar with the area and had never been to the Gupta family residence before;
m) They arrived at a “compound like residence” with security guards;
n) As they arrived, Mr Hlongwane alighted from his car to join them;
o) Once inside the residence, they were joined by Mr Ajay Gupta, whom Mr Jonas had never met before and recognised him from articles in the press);
p) During the meeting, there was no exchange of pleasantries. Mr Ajay Gupta informed him that they had been gathering intelligence on him and those close to him;
The phone records show that D Zuma was at the Guptas (if indeed being in Saxonwold indicates that) at 14:00. Hlongwane arrived later. But Jonas’s testimony suggests Hlongwane was there before his & D Zuma’s arrival. Upon arrival, Hlongwane alighted from his car.
Jonas doesnt tackle how he left the Gupta family home. According to PP’s records, D Zuma was there until 17:10 and Hlongwane until 15:19.
No pleasantries suggests there would be no further communication between the two camps. But alas:
25 October 2016
D Zuma: Good evening Sir, I tried to call. Please return my call when you can. Kind regards.
26 October 2016
Jonas: Hi Broer. Can we postpone today’s session to Thursday. did not realise how hectic my official schedule is. Jonas