Embattled former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has denied that he took former group CEO Lulama Mokhobo to meet the Gupta family at their residence in Saxonwold, Johannesburg without her knowledge…
Motsoeneng told the state capture inquiry that he informed Mokhobo about meeting the controversial family, a day before he drove her there.
“We enjoyed curry there,” Motsoeneng told Inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Tuesday.
“These people [the Guptas] spoke to me and said we can meet your new GCEO. I went to her a day before. We discussed going there. She was very happy. I was very happy,” he said.
Last week, Mokhobo told Zondo that a week after she was appointed, Motsoeneng took her to the Guptas to be congratulated.
Mokhobo was appointed as the first woman CEO of the SABC in 2012 but resigned from the position in February 2014.
She told Justice Zondo: “Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who was acting COO, came to my office and said, ‘I have to take you somewhere very quickly’.
“Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who was acting COO, came to my office and said, ‘I have to take you somewhere very quickly’.
“He couldn’t tell me where it was. It was something very hush-hush. We arrived at this massive house and I saw on the wall Sahara Computers. He said: ‘We are here because these people want to congratulate you’.”
Mokhobo said when they went in, her phone was taken, adding the Gupta brothers – Ajay and Atul – Duduzane Zuma, former president Jacob Zuma’s son, and Ace Magashule’s son, whom she did not identify, were present at the meeting.
But Motsoeneng disputed Mokhobo’s claims that she did not know where he was taking her.
He said he went to Mokhobo’s office a day before and told her about the meeting.
He said when they arrived at the meeting the Guptas made a business proposal like any other business people.
“They said because we are going to migrate, they wish to get a channel as part of the plan, which there is nothing wrong.
“The concern is that when you talk about the Guptas these days people do not want to hear anything. We have met the Guptas and we have engaged them, chairperson,” he said.
“In my view I was trying to capture the private sector.”
Motsoeneng is expected to return to the commission on Wednesday.