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Against the backdrop of a questionable relationship with South African influential family, the Guptas, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has opened up on his relationship with the Guptas.

Sorting out the matter with reporters, Mabuza maintained the Gupta brothers have not captured him, as widely alleged. He, however, admitted that he once hitched a lift on a Gupta-owned jet from Moscow on November 14 2015.

On an alleged business deal with Gupta-owned The New Age, the Premier maintained that he only promised to place an advertisement worth R7 billion on the newspaper, adding that his decision was not influenced by the family.

It is understood that the New Age had promised to publish a provincial edition that will carry the success stories of Mabuza’s government in three full pages – the front page, page 2 and page 3.

A written complaint presented by a whistleblower shows that two officials from The New Age made the presentation of the “doggy” deal to the provincial government communicator’s forum on September 28 at the Ehlanzeni District Municipality.

Last year, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza headlined many newspapers after he hitched a lift on a Guptas’ Bombardier Global jet from Moscow, Russia, after he was treated for poisoning.

Mabuza’s ill health started in August 2015 after he let his guard down and accepted food parcel on his birthday. The illness subsequently threw him off from work for 50 days.

Read also : The Guptas’ R445m magnificient Dubai mansion and private Jet will shock you (photos)