Controversial Gupta family backer Mzwanele Manyi has been drawn into the dark web of state-owned company capture by the family‚ leaked e-mails show.
In running coverage on a damning series of leaked e-mails detailing the extent to which the Gupta family has captured politicians and state entities‚ The Times can reveal more
evidence that the family appeared to play a role in the appointment of board members at state-owned companies.
The e-mails also reveal how former government spin doctor Manyi sought from the family positions on state-owned companies for himself and an unwitting former colleague.
Attorney Xoliswa Mpongoshe was shocked when approached on Sunday and told that e-mails showed that Manyi had forwarded her CV to the controversial family in May of 2014.
“Oh my goodness… There was a time when‚ I’m not sure it if was Eskom or Transnet‚ were busy with changes to their board.
“He [Manyi] called me … [and] it was like: ‘Can you send me your CV‚ they need people with a legal background who are particularly strong in governance’.
“So I sent him my CV and there was nothing since then‚ but I had no idea he was going to give it to the Guptas‚” she said.
“I don’t know the Guptas. I’ve never met them. He never even talked about them to me‚ to be honest‚” she said.
She was not appointed to the board.
Manyi said on Sunday: “I have absolutely no recollection of what you are talking about. If you think there was any wrongdoing‚ please do not hesitate to report to the police or whoever.”
In both the e-mails‚ sent a little more than an hour apart from Manyi’s Gmail account to Sahara CEO Ashu Chawla‚ he mentions “as discussed with Tony”‚ then attaches his CV and then Mpongoshe’s.
Though the e-mails are not explicit about what jobs are sought‚ it is clear there is an expectation of employment.
“He never even came back to me after that… This is the last thing I want in my life‚ an association with the Gupta family‚” added Mpongoshe.
“I used to work with Jimmy a long time ago at the People’s Bank. I then got involved‚ through him and Lot Ndlovu‚ with the BMF [Black Management Forum] and I assisted there. I am still with BMF even to this day‚” a shocked Mpongoshe said.
This is not the first link between Manyi and the family from Saxonwold‚ Johannesburg. In December the Sunday Times reported how the Black Business Council rebutted executive member Manyi’s alleged attempt to have Gupta company Oakbay become a corporate member.
The offer allegedly came with a R5-million once-off donation. At the time Manyi labeled the allegations as “blue lies”.
Mpongoshe‚ an attorney with a two-decade long track record‚ was up until December company secretary for state oil company PetroSA.
The former Telkom executive has also served as company secretary at Sanlam and assistant company secretary at People’s Bank.
The Guptas are close family friends of President Jacob Zuma as well as business partners with his son Duduzane.
Over the years they have endured numerous scandals involving their influence over government.
Several investigations‚ including one from former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela‚ revealed how the family benefited to the tune of hundreds of millions from state-owned companies.