AN EXECUTIVE in a company owned by the Guptas donated money to the DA, its leader Helen Zille said yesterday.
She said the DA made a “commitment of confidentiality” to its donors, but media reports claiming she had solicited funds from the Guptas had prompted her to speak on the matter.
“When I heard this, I decided to take the unprecedented step of telephoning our donor to ask him to release me from our commitment of confidentiality,” she said in a statement.
“He declined. He said he did not want his name in the papers. He is not a Gupta. He is an executive in a company owned by the Guptas,” said Zille.
“I gave him the undertaking I would not mention his name, but I said, given the wild and unfounded speculation [masquerading as fact], I would have to set the record straight.”
The Weekend Argus quoted unnamed sources as saying Zille went to the Gupta family’s estate in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, in 2011 to ask for a donation.
Zille said in the run-up to the 2009 elections, DA North West leader Chris Hattingh contacted the fund-raising office, and said a long-standing acquaintance of his wanted to donate to the party’s election campaign.
Zille met the donor and received a R200000 pledge. The donor suggested they fetch the cheque at the Guptas’ house.
“I and my colleague Ian Davidson duly went to the Guptas’ home, ate some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten, and received the cheque for R200000 from the individual,” she said.
It was a personal cheque from his personal bank account and did not come from a Gupta company or from the Guptas.
In 2010, when he pledged another R100000, the cheque was made out in the name of a company of which the donor is a senior executive. This company was either partially or wholly- owned by the Guptas, said Zille.
It was not one of their known companies like Sahara Computers or The New Age newspaper. — Sapa