Mcebisi Jonas faces tough questions to determine whether there is any truth to the claim that the Gupta family wanted to bribe him to accept an offer to become finance minister, at the Zondo commission of inquiry investigating state capture on August 24 2018. Picture: ALON SKUY
Mcebisi Jonas faces tough questions to determine whether there is any truth to the claim that the Gupta family wanted to bribe him to accept an offer to become finance minister, at the Zondo commission of inquiry investigating state capture on August 24 2018. Picture: ALON SKUY

Mcebisi Jonas dropped a bombshell at the state capture commission of inquiry, when he detailed how the Hawks tried to quash a probe of the Guptas’ attempt to bribe him.

The former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas told the Zondo commission on Friday that a senior Hawks official asked him in front of his lawyer to sign a prepared statement which would have closed the investigation into how Ajay Gupta allegedly tried to bribe him into taking up the post as finance minister.

Jonas testified that Maj-Gen Zinhle Mnonopi from the Hawks had brought a prepared statement to a meeting with Jonas, which she required him to sign.

This was after complaints were laid by COPE’s Dennis Bloem and the DA’s David Maynier, following a Sunday Times report in March 2016 about the meeting between Jonas and Gupta, businessman Fana Hlongwane and former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, in October 2015.

Jonas was the second witness called before the commission, which kicked off on Monday after being delayed for months.

He told the Zondo commission that Mnonopi told him the complaint, which he assumed was the one laid by Maynier, “was a DA matter” and that they “wanted to kill the case”.

Jonas said Mnonopi asked him to sign the prepared statement in front of his lawyer, Max Boqwana, which stated that he was not willing to submit a statement and that he was not a witness to anybody, and that he did not have a statement in this regard.

Jonas said the prepared statement was settled by an advocate, who he said she named but whose name he could not remember.

Jonas refused to sign the statement, and later confirmed in an affidavit the content of the media statement he had put out in March 2016, to confirm that he was offered the job by Ajay Gupta.

Jonas, who had earlier in his testimony said he did not lay a complaint at the police as he believed the institutions were compromised, said he was not shocked by the Hawks’ action in this regard.