Ramatlhodi says he was requested to appear on the TNA Business Breakfast show by the Gupta family and support The New Age newspaper during his tenure as mineral resources minister.
Former Mineral Resources Minister, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, has told the Zondo commission on Wednesday, 28 November 2018, that the Gupta family wanted him to participate in interviews on The New Age (TNA) Business Breakfast show.
“There was an attempt to get me to appear on the SABC breakfast shows,” Ramatlhodi said.
TNA Business Breakfast is the same programme mentioned by Phumla Williams, acting Director-General of Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). In August 2018 Williams testified that the GCIS was bullied into sponsoring the show.
He said his department had also been nudged to support The New Age, the formerly Gupta-owned newspaper.
“There was also an issue with the DG, who was requested to increase the number of the The New Age newspapers in the department, in other words, to buy more. I advised him that we can’t do that, that we have no justification,” he explained.
Ramatlhodi also told the commission that Duduzane Zuma attempted to arrange a meeting between him and the Gupta family.
He said Zuma asked him to meet Ajay Gupta under the guise of addressing the notion that he was spreading rumours about Zuma.
“He wanted to me to explain to Ajay Gupta that I did not badmouth them. My own reflection is that they have been trying to meet me for a long time and I was refusing, so they had to create a story,” Ramatlhodi said.