-Hlaudi Motsoeneng has revealed he visited the Gupta family numerous times at their Saxonwold compound
- The former SABC executive was answering allegations that he had pressurised Lulama Mokhobo into meeting with the family
- Motsoeneng denies forcing the matter, saying that Mokhobo had been happy to accompany him
Hlaudi Motsoeneng has admitted to meeting with the Gupta family multiple times, but has denied a friendship with the notorious bunch.
Briefly.co.za reported that Motsoeneng had been responding to allegations against him at the state capture inquiry.
One of these allegations had been that the former SABC COO had pushed group chief executive Lulama Mokhobo into meeting with the family over the possibility of a news channel.
Mokhobo had claimed Motsoeneng had rushed her off to see the family a week into her inception at the SABC, reports the Mail & Guardian.
Motsoeneng is adamant that this is not the case, having informed Mokhobo of his plan to meet the previous day. On the day of the meeting, the pair had happily ventured off to brunch with the Guptas:
"But we had already discussed it a day before. We went, chairperson … She was very happy. I was very happy myself. What happened there, we went and we ate breakfast."
SowetanLIVE reports that at this meeting the Guptas had probed into the possibility of securing a news channel:
"They promptly told me they would have liked to play a role in SABC's DTT (digital terrestrial television) future because they were interested in creating a news channel and they would hope I would allow them to get access to a channel … I saw it as a lobbying of sorts for them to be afforded an opportunity on SABC platforms at that time."
Moetsoneng spoke about the perception of the family, telling inquiry chair Deputy Chief Raymond Zondo that:
"There is nothing wrong with that. The concern is when you talk about the Guptas, people don't want to hear anything, they run away, they want to go under the table. The reality is we have met the Guptas, we have engaged them."
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