Former Denel CEO Riaz Saloojee admitted he attended three meetings with members of the Gupta family at the behest of their business ally Salim Essa within the first six months of his appointment at the state-owned armaments company. Testifying at the Zondo commission into state capture on Wednesday, Saloojee, who headed Denel between 2012 and 2015, said Essa contacted him in 2012 and asked him to attend a meeting that would be in both Denel’s and his “interests”. Denel was one of the state-owned enterprises mired in allegations of corruption and state capture and found itself in a deep financial crisis which led to it needing a government guarantee to enable it to pay salaries and suppliers. Saloojee — who was controversially fired in 2015, widely believed then as a result of him not doing the Guptas’ bidding — told the Zondo commission he was aware of who the Gupta brothers were and had met Essa at a number of events relating to the defence industry. “I was contacted by Essa and he...

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