Home General News ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule's R140 million deal with the Guptas exposed

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule's R140 million deal with the Guptas exposed


Former Free State premier and current ANC secretary general Ace Magashule took former MEC Mxolisi Dukwana to the Guptas' Saxonwold compound in 2011, where Tony Gupta tried to strong-arm Dukwana into signing approval for a R140m deal.

Dukwana, then-MEC for economic development and tourism, explained to Gupta that he could not sign the appointment and that only the HOD could do so.

Gupta was irate and instructed him to fire the then-HOD, Thuso Ramaema.

In late 2011, Ramaema left the department to take up the job of CEO of the Free State Development Corporation.

The son of former president Jacob Zuma, Duduzane, was also present at the meeting.

Gupta then made a phone call and, "in no time", a man Dukwana identified as Richard Seleke arrived.

Seleke, a copy of his CV shows, was later appointed as the HOD of economic development and as the director-general of public enterprises.

Seleke did not immediately respond to calls from News24 on Friday.

These bombshell revelations have emerged in an urgent Anton Piller application brought by Dukwana in the Bloemfontein High Court late last month. Netwerk24 first reported on the court papers on Friday.

An "Anton Piller" is a court order that provides the right to search premises and seize evidence without prior warning.

Dukwana claims he requires this evidence to enable him to give evidence before the commission of inquiry into state capture, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Dukwana cited the current Free State premier and MEC for economic development in his papers, and he wants officials in both offices to hand over travel records for himself and Magashule, cellphone records and a handwritten diary.

He states that he was not granted access to his office again following his removal as MEC in 2012.

'In Mr Magashule's presence'

Dukwana reveals that, during his tenure as MEC between 2009 and 2012, he had presented a master plan concept document for a "New City or City of Tomorrow" to the Free State executive council, chaired by Magashule as premier.

Dukwana, who was also the treasurer of the ANC in the province, states that he was asked by Magashule to attend a fundraising function for the party in Johannesburg in late 2011.

He could not recall the exact dates.

"On arrival at OR Tambo airport, we were shuttled in different cars by the employees of the Gupta family, where we were received by Tony Gupta who introduced himself to me as such," Dukwana's founding affidavit reads.

Dukwana states he was asked to hand in his cellphone, which would be returned to him on his departure.

"To my recollection, Mr Magashule was not subjected to the same treatment."

He was then "ushered" into a room, while Gupta and Magashule "went into another room". They later rejoined Dukwana, this time accompanied by Duduzane Zuma.

"Mr Gupta, in the presence of Mr Magashule, asked me to sign a document purportedly prepared by me on the letterhead of my office, addressed to Nulane Management Services appointing them to run the whole project on a turn-key basis."

News24 has established that Nulane is connected to former Transnet board member Iqbal Sharma.

'Mr Gupta was not pleased'

When Dukwana informed Gupta he could not sign the letter, Gupta was "not pleased" and demanded that Ramaema be removed.

"Mr Gupta then told me that he had a suitable replacement for me and a phone call was made and in no time, Mr Richard Seleke came through. He was then introduced to me as the one who help the process [sic]. Mr Richard Seleke was eventually appointed as the HOD," Dukwana states.

Following the meeting, Dukwana was presented with another letter, prepared on his behalf, relating to the project.

He states he was "expected" to sign the second letter, which would authorise Nulane Management Services and another company, P3 Africa, to be compensated R140m in six instalments.

He never signed the document.

"I do not know who prepared it for me to sign," Dukwana states in his affidavit.

"I remain startled to this day as to why the presentation I made in the executive council, its details, ended up [with] outside persons who were not in government. I can only deduce that Mr Gupta possibly received the details of my presentation from Mr Magashule."

The Anton Piller was granted by the court and the sheriff went to the offices of the premier of the Free State and the current MEC for economic development.

Court papers show that none of the documents Dukwana is after could be found.

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