- A former driver for ex-Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has testified he believes some of the tailored suits worn by Gigaba were paid for with cash from the Gupta family.
- The driver, whose identify has been kept hidden, says he was instructed by Gigaba to keep visits to the Gupta compound in Saxonwold secret.
- After visiting the Gupta residence, the driver said Gigaba would often head into Sandton to buy suits.
Some of the tailored suits worn by former Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba were paid for in cash believed to be received from the Guptas, his former protector and driver told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Thursday afternoon.
The witness, whose identity was not revealed, told the inquiry headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that he was in June 2013 seconded from Transnet to join Gigaba’s security detail.
He escorted the then-minister on trips to the Gupta’s expansive compound in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, about six to seven times between July and December 2013.
The visits were unscheduled and Gigaba instructed him to not record them, as would have been the norm on an official trip.
“At some point the minister would carry a large sum of cash with him … one day I was with the minister when he opened the boot of his official vehicle to take out money to buy lunch for us. Inside the boot there was a bag which he opened, and there was a bundle of cash in it, in R200 notes,” said the witness, who gave evidence off-site.
Evidence leader Paul Pretorius asked if he knew where the money came from. He responded that he couldn’t tell at the time.
“But as we made some more visits I connected the dots to say the money came from the Saxonwold residence.”
“We would go to the Guptas and then to Sandton … he used to pay cash for his tailored suits,” he said.
The witness also stated that when the minister ate at restaurants, he often paid in cash.
Gigaba was appointed minister of Public Enterprises in October 2010, a portfolio which oversees the state-owned companies. He held the position until 2014.
The witness told the inquiry that he was once part of a convoy that drove to the Gupta compound and Gigaba quickly jumped out of the car and got inside the residence. On one occasion he saw Brian Molefe, Eskom’s former acting CEO Matshela Koko, and Ben Ngubane, former Eskom chairperson, within the premises.
Former president Jacob Zuma’s convoy was once also seen leaving the premises, he said.
Gigaba has not yet testified before the commission.