Ajay Gupta has written a scathing letter to outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Tuesday. He is accusing her of taking the “last punch” against President Jacob Zuma and not following proper procedure in her probe of allegations of ‘state capture’ and its entities by the wealthy Gupta family.
Ajay is the oldest of the controversial Gupta brothers, the two others are Atul and Rajesh, who have various business interests in South Africa.
In the letter, written by attorneys on behalf of Ajay, the businessman said that he had over time complained to Madonsela over the handling of the investigation and her alleged sidelining of the Gupta family and witnesses in the probe.
“You are aware of the fact that you chose not to subpoena any of the three Gupta brothers to give evidence despite the fact that you intend to conclude a report which will in all likelihood have severe conclusions contained therein,” read the letter.
Ajay Gupta said his lawyers approached Madonsela’s office to allow the family to give evidence. His interview by Madonsela’s office took place on October 4, this year, and lasted for several hours.
During the interview, Madonsela appeared “irritated” with the Ajay Gupta, and that his lawyer objected against “various irregularities” during the interview, including Madonsela allegedly refusing to listen to his responses.
Requests by Ajay Gupta to address witnesses who gave evidence to Madonsela were brushed aside, and was denied to exercise his right according to the Public Protector Act, according to his letter.
“I have warned constantly against your approach and the processes followed, all in vain, just to be advised this morning that you will issue your report on Friday,” he said in the letter.
“It is obvious you had a predetermined view of how the report should look like and I submit that evidence you have gathered as window-dressing for your decision that you have taken before my client’s version could be heard or your version tested…you seem to ignore the Act responsible for your existence and that leaves me flabbergasted.”
The attorneys said they had considered bringing an urgent interdict to halt release by report, but decided not to go ahead as as the report “was only speculation at this point” as that would create a media hype seeing Ajay as intimidating Madonsela’s office.
The Madonsela report would not be in good faith, the attorneys wrote in the letter, accusing her taking “her last punch” at President Jacob Zuma.
“If you choose to conclude that my clients were in any way whatsoever involved in inappropriate conduct under circumstances where we had a clear right to contradict the evidence you have gathered, you do so at your own peril and at your own risk. It begs a question whether you leave a well-respected office with ill-intent and with a last punch at your rival, in my view, the President.”
Madonsela has less than a week in office as her seven year contract ends.
Madonsela had indicated that she would finish her last investigation in Gupta family influence before leaving office.
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