Zuma to face Madonsela grilling over Guptas

File. Thuli Madonsela's term is up in just one week, but the Public Protector will quiz President Zuma, and his son Duduzane, before she leaves. Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Antonio Muchave

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Protector will meet with the president on Thursday.

Thuli Madonsela has another seven days left in office, and she’s busy with her most politically sensitive probe yet: investigating the Gupta family and its alleged attempts to appoint ministers in President Zuma’s cabinet.

She says President Zuma will need to answer questions about his relationship with the Gupta family.

She also says her office will question Duduzane Zuma -- the president's son -- who is in business with the Guptas, to request his side of the story.

Criminal charges could follow if certain allegations prove true.

Controversial businessman Fana Hlongwane, who was embroiled in the arms deal scandal, recently wrote a letter denying that the Guptas had offered Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas the Minister’s position.

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Madonsela says Hlongwane will be subpoenaed so he can make these claims under oath.

“At this point I don’t know who is lying. The only way I’m going to take Mr Hlongwane’s version, is if he comes and testifies under oath," Madonsela said.

"There’s no way that letter means anything for this investigation unless he comes and presents evidence under oath.”

Madonsela interviewed Ajay Gupta on Tuesday for four-and-a-half hours after he requested a meeting with her.

Speaking on whether or not she will get to the truth before she leaves office, Madonsela said: "I’ve picked up in the last interviews that we’ve done, that there’s a lot of holes that would need to be plugged.

"In terms of that, we’ve worked out an exit strategy in terms of what the report will say about a way forward.”

She is tight-lipped about what the way forward will be but, whatever it is, it's certain to have political consequences.

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