South Africa's Ex-Finance Chief Says Rebuffed Guptas' Overtures

(Bloomberg) -- Former South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said he rebuffed several attempts by members of the controversial Gupta family to meet with them and that he had never done anything to further or protect their business interests.

Gordhan, who now oversees state companies, was testifying before a judicial commission that’s probing allegations that the three Gupta brothers used their close relationship with former President Jacob Zuma to secure appointment of allies to key state posts and win contracts. Zuma and the Guptas denied any wrongdoing. Nhlanhla Nene, another former finance minister, was forced to quit after admitting that he had several meetings with one of the Guptas and lied about them in a television interview.

“I’ve had no direct one-on-one meetings with the Guptas,” although there were a few occasions where “we happened to be in the same place,” Gordhan told the commission, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, in Johannesburg on Tuesday. “I’m quite emphatic that I’m not for sale.”

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