Gupta ‘threatened to kill me’ over bribe offer: Former deputy minister

Former South African deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas testifying at the commission of inquiry into state capture during Jacob Zuma’s reign. [courtesy: Mail & Guardian]
A former South African deputy finance minister has alleged that one of the Gupta brothers threatened to kill him if he ever disclosed that they had held a controversial meeting, in which the wealthy family offered the politician the finance minister position.

Mcebisi Jonas made the revelation during his appearance at the commission of inquiry into alleged state capture by the Gupta family during former president Jacob Zuma’s reign.

Ajay Gupta has denied that he ever meet Jonas or offered him a bribe.

Jonas, who was the deputy finance minister in 2015, said he was offered 600m rand ($41m) if he accepted the post of finance minister at a meeting held in Gupta’s mansion in Johannesburg.

He alleges that Duduzane Zuma, the former president’s son, was also present.

Jonas said that if he had accepted the deal, he would have been forced to use his position to advance the Gupta’s extensive business interests.

He said he refused the bribe, and that was followed by threats to his life.

“At the end of the meeting, Mr Gupta repeated that they had information on me and that if I suggested that the meeting had occurred, they would ‘kill’ me,” he said.

Duduzane Zuma told in 2017 that there had been a meeting but no bribe was offered.