Zondo recommends costs incurred by the SABC for TNA broadcasts should be recovered from any of the assets belonging to TNA or held by the Gupta family
22 June 2022 – 21: 57
By involving himself in the formation and running of the Gupta media house TNA Media and news channel ANN7, former president Jacob Zuma was in breach of the executive code of ethics. This is the conclusion of chief justice Raymond Zondo, in his final report on the state capture commission.
According to Zondo, there is sufficient evidence to conclude Zuma allowed the Gupta family to use their proximity to him to “facilitate and extend” their business interests from India to SA by establishing the news channel which hired undocumented Indian nationals who were in the country illegally.
Zondo found out that Zuma’s son Duduzane was a beneficiary through Zuma’s involvement with the news channel, which did business with the SABC.
TNA Media made deals with the SABC, and other state institutions through an event called TNA Business Breakfast.
The SABC broadcast the event live, while Transnet and Eskom sponsored the event with millions of dollars.
“President Zuma had enabled the extension of such business interests for the benefit of his son, Mr Duduzane Zuma,” Zondo said.
“The Gupta family and in turn the [former] president’s son … Duduzane … benefited from the relationship that the Gupta family had with president Zuma in that they entered into contracts with various state organs and, in particular the SABC, to the detriment of other potential competitors who operated within the same media space.”
Zondo also found that Zuma allowed the Guptas to abuse their close relationship with him to flout visa and labour laws of the country by hiring undocumented foreign nationals at the news channel. He stated that there wasn’t any evidence to support the allegations of Rajesh, who used to work at ANN7.
President Zuma enabled, indirectly, the members of the Gupta family to abuse their relationship to the extent of flouting visa and labour laws of the country
Raymond Zondo, state capture commission chair
“President Zuma enabled, indirectly, the members of the Gupta family to abuse their relationship to the extent of flouting visa and labour laws of the country. The fact that visas for Indian citizens were granted to Mr Ashu Chawla isn’t denied. Zondo stated that Mr Sundaram had admitted that his visa wasn’t processed in accordance with law. The allegations that some Indian nationals worked for ANN7 were not supported by law were unfounded. After investigations by the department home affairs, four employees were found to have violated their permits. They were ordered to leave.
“It is not deemed necessary for the commission to recommend any steps to be taken in this regard since such persons were ordered to leave the country way back in 2013.”
According to Zondo, the evidence against Zuma shows he was in contravention of section 96 of the constitution. Zondo found that Zuma violated the Executive Members Ethics Act when he was involved in the creation and formation of ANN7.
Zondo stated that the SABC spent R4 on the TNA broadcasts and TNA was provided with relevant services by the SABC. 27m excluding VAT, between April 1 2011 and March 31 2017, should be recovered from any of the assets belonging to TNA or held by the Gupta family.