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JOHANNESBURG - Malusi Gigaba says he did not know about a meeting between former Eskom CEO Brian Dames and the Guptas in Midrand.
The Home Affairs minister told Parliament’s state capture inquiry that he first heard of the meeting when Dames testified in front of the inquiry.
Dames told MPs in October 2017 that Gigaba's advisor at the Department of Public Enterprises had arranged a meeting with a Gupta representative.
Gigaba also denied he knew of any plans to build a coal power station in the Free State.
The minister said he takes the task of assisting the committee in investigating state capture, very seriously.
He addressed Gupta-linked contracts with Eskom, Transnet and Denel.
"This topic is challenging as the extent of Gupta-related corruption is only now surfacing. It is becoming increasingly apparent that even tenders that appeared lawful may have been tainted," he said.
He said that the contracts with Trillian, the Regiments Saga and Tegeta Resources occurred outside his tenure at Public Enterprise.
Gigaba distanced himself from parastatals' payments to The New Age for their business breakfast briefings, saying he was against them because they cost a lot of money.
At the time, the newspaper was still owned by the Guptas.
Gigaba denied any interference in SOE board appointments and procurement issues, saying the latter was beyond his purview as the minister.
Gigaba also indicates that the board choice for CFO had difficulty handling himself in political environment & his 'remuneration challenge', then lists Ms Molefe's Honours degree. #StateCapture at #SOEs in parliament— AC Fick (@acfick72) March 13, 2018
Regarding the appointed of Brian Molefe as CEO of Transnet, Gigaba said even though he only consulted on the appointment with the board, he also could not object to Molefe's candidacy.
Gigaba also said when he signed off on the appointment of Iqbal Sharma as chairperson of the Transnet board, there were no allegations that Sharma had links to the Guptas.
The #GuptaLeaks emails showed Sharma had a close relationship with Gupta associate, Salim Essa.
At the same time, Gigaba said he had no reason to object to the appointment of Anoj Singh as Chief Financial Officer of Transnet in 2011.
The #GuptaLeaks showed Singh allowed billions in public money to slip through his fingers and into the Guptas' pockets while they paid him offshore. Earlier in the year, Singh told the inquiry he had no personal relationship with the Guptas, even though the family's close associate, Sanjay Grover, personally footed a Dubai hotel bill for Singh.
The Gupta brothers and Duduzane Zuma indicated they will not be present at the inquiry.
At the same time, former SAA board chair Dudu Myeni says she has been booked off sick, while the Gupta brothers' lawyer says they are not in the country. (see their letters to Parliament indicating their absence below).
Letter from Gupta lawyers to Parliament indicating their non-attendance at Eskom inquiry
Letter from Dudu Myeni to Parliament indicating her non-attendance at Eskom inquiry due to illness
African News Agency