Norma Mngoma testified at the Zondo Commission on April 21 2021. It is reported that the Commission heard Gupta related evidence. Picture: VELI NHLAPO
Norma Mngoma testified at the Zondo Commission on April 21 2021. It is reported that the Commission heard Gupta related evidence. Picture: VELI NHLAPO

A gold necklace, a white BMW, bags of cash and a R5m wedding — these were some of the shocking revelations shared by Norma Mngoma on the lavish lifestyle she lived with former minister Malusi Gigaba, mainly thanks to the Gupta family.

Mngoma is the estranged wife of the former minister.

The Gupta family, friends and benefactors of former president Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane, are at the centre of state capture allegations. They are said to have influenced the appointment of key cabinet posts and those of strategic state owned enterprises like Eskom, Denel and Transnet.

Mngoma was testifying on Monday evening at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, mainly about her family’s relationship with the Gupta family.

Mngoma also revealed how Gigaba allegedly:

  • Was given a white three series BMW as a gift by Ajay Gupta.
  • Given a gold necklace by Ajay Gupta as a gift for their first born son.
  • Frequented the Gupta household in Saxonwold and got bags of cash.
  • Packed stacks of cash in their home safe and told her it was money from Ajay Gupta meant to fund elections for the ANC.
  • Received cash as their wedding gift.
  • Was told by the Guptas how Brian Molefe would become the next CEO of Eskom months ahead of the announcement.
  • Shared a friendly relationship with Siyabonga Gama to the extent that he used the former Transnet CEO to score a job for his sister at the parastatal.
  • Was told by former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni and Ajay Gupta that he would be moved back to the department of home affairs for his lack of co-operation, a move that, when it eventually happened, made him unhappy.
  • Asked her to tag along to the welcoming party for the controversial landing of the Gupta family at the Waterkloof Airforce Base.

She further recalled seeing a money-counting machine at the Gupta residence during a tour of the compound, led by Ajay Gupta.

Earlier, Gigaba tried, unsuccessfully, to block his wife from testifying, citing spousal privilege, and revelations about their minor children. In an application to the commission, his lawyers argued if the commission insisted she appears, that Zondo allow an in-camera testimony by Mngoma.

Commission chair, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, dismissed the application, allowing for the testimony to go ahead.  Mngoma took the stand despite  misgivings about how the commission had handled her affidavit. 

Mngoma gave a shocking testimony about how her wedding in 2014 cost between R4m and R5m — paid for in cash mainly by Gigaba.

“[The wedding] It was R4m to R5m ... it was paid in cash,” said Mngoma. 

She explained to the commission that it was not odd that the wedding cost that much as it was two weddings — a white wedding and a traditional wedding. 

“I didn't find it strange [the amount] because Malusi has been a minister for a very, very long time and also he told me that he had savings with the money market that he saves money from," she said.

"And (he said) most of the expenses we don't pay for them because it's paid by the state ... so to have a lot of cash is not something that was strange to me,” said Mngoma.

“If you break it down that [the amount of cash kept by Gigaba] is not that large, it can be large to you but it was not large to him,” added Mngoma, explaining how Gigaba would carry large sums of cash.

The former minister is expected to apply to cross examine his estranged wife.

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