South Africa: Treasury Reveals How SA Inc Bankrolled the Gupta Media Beast

Left: Ajay Gupta. Right: Atul Gupta.

A deep dive into electronic government ledgers revealed R260-million in payments to Gupta-linked media companies by provincial and national government departments over several years.

The bulk of those payments were made after February 2011 when Themba Maseko, the former head of the Government Information and Communication Systems (GCIS) was booted from his job after refusing to entertain the Guptas.

National Treasury extracted data via the State Information Technology Agency mainframe to examine the scale of payments to the Gupta-owned media empire.

Testimony by accountant, Jan Gilliland, the director of operations and implementation at Treasury, put the GCIS spend on the Gupta companies at R55-million, making it the second highest funder of the Gupta media interests after the Free State government, which came in at nearly R80-million.

Gilliland, an accountant, explained that National Treasury's Basic Accounting System (BAS) extracted data that pointed to payments to the Gupta companies, albeit that they were listed in different variations of the names of the companies as they were loaded by individual departments.

His evidence supported testimony by Maseko, who earlier testified to the Gupta plan...

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