Gupta-owned media houses bagged R260m from govt

GCIS forked out R99,7m, while Free State was the largest provincial contributor with R79.4m

#StateCaptureInquiry: Gupta-owned media houses bagged R260m from govt, with Free State dishing out the most

10 September 2018

Gupta-owned media houses received about R260m from the national and provincial governments, with the Free State government forking out the most at nearly R80m.

This was the evidence which National Treasury's Jan Gilliland presented on Monday at the state capture commission of inquiry, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

The Free State was followed by KwaZulu-Natal, which paid R25m, and the North West paid R23.8m to The New Age (TNA) newspaper and Infinity Media (ANN7).

Gilliland showed that from the R260m paid by the national and provincial governments, Infinity received R12m and TNA received R248m.

He also explained how money was paid from the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) to the Gupta-linked entities.

According to Gilliland, there was a substantial increase of payments between 2011 to 2015 and a decline between 2016 and in July 6, 2018.

Gilliland also revealed that in 2011, soon after former GCIS CEO Themba Maseko was fired, the amount of money paid to the Guptas increased by R6.1m. The payment was made during Mzwanele Manyi's tenure at GCIS.

Maseko was fired after he defied an instruction from former president Jacob Zuma to "help" the Guptas, who demanded that the GCIS media spend be channelled to the New Age.

When Manyi joined GCIS, he allegedly changed the tender processes there.

In addition, he removed all incumbents in the committee and directed that all final decisions be made by him.

The commission also heard how about R55m was paid to TNA newspaper via the SABC/TNA breakfasts. Gilliland said GCIS paid TNA R51.8m and Infinity media received R3.3m.

The first payment, paid from the GCIS to Gupta-linked entities, was made in February when Maseko was fired in February 2011.

Gilliland is the sixth witness to testify in the commission, which is investigating allegations of undue influence by the Gupta family on Zuma's administration.