- Jacob Zuma claims that Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela also had ties to the Guptas
- Mbeki, however, denies the allegation
- Zuma made the claims during his Zondo Commission testimony
Jacob Zuma has told the Zondo Commission that the Guptas were also close with former president Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela.
Zuma made the claim on Monday at the inquiry where he began his testimony, which is expected to last throughout the whole week.
Zuma is arguably the most #-anticipated figure to appear before the inquiry since it was established more than a year ago.
"They were coming from President Thabo Mbeki," Zuma told the Commission according to The South African, referring to his first meeting with the Guptas. "They were introduced as good business people and as comrades; members of the ANC."
Zuma went on to say that the Guptas had even been close with Nelson Mandela.
"Nobody says anything about their relationship with Mandela," the former president said, Briefly.co.za has gathered.
However, Thabo Mbeki has since released a public statement saying, "President Thabo Mbeki did not at any point introduce the Gupta family to President Zuma."
Zuma also touched on the establishment of Gupta-owned media outlets ANN7 and The New Age. Zuma said these publications were established to serve as an "alternative voice" for the ANC in order to counter the narratives pushed by the mainstream media, which Zuma says were "very biased".
During his testimony, Zuma also said that his ties to the Guptas began to raise questions among other members of the ANC. He says he told the party's top 6 about the Guptas and that "nobody said it was wrong".
Zuma's testimony is set to continue.
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