STATE CAPTURE: How the US got involved

Ajay and Atul Gupta with their partner, Duduzane Zuma.
Ajay and Atul Gupta with their partner, Duduzane Zuma.
Image: File

US authorities have requested access to the GuptaLeaks email evidence – and made a copy of a clone of an original hard drive containing those emails‚ the State Capture inquiry heard on Thursday.

This is according to the testimony by lawyer Brian Currin‚ who was integrally involved in protecting the GuptaLeaks hard drives. He said Zondo Commission officials were present when the cloned copy was handed over to American authorities.

Currin testified before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo‚ who heads up the inquiry‚ that "American authorities" contacted him about the GuptaLeaks evidence earlier this year‚ while he was meeting one of the GuptaLeaks whistleblowers‚ known only as “Stan”. He did not say who the "American authorities" were.

Currin said he hoped to persuade “Stan” to hand over the original hard drives to the authorities as the political climate had changed.

While he made contact with the US authorities‚ “they advised me that they were doing certain investigations of an international nature‚ and they wanted to meet with me and him (Stan) and have access to the evidence.”

"Stan" was adamant that the whistleblowers would not hand over the original evidence‚ Currin said‚ but agreed to meet in “a third country”.

“At that meeting Stan agreed…that we would make available to the American authorities the first clone…we were absolutely adamant that they would not be given access to the original‚” Currin said.

He said copies of the clone were made using sophisticated equipment available to the US authorities in Kenya: one copy went to the Americans‚ and another to the Zondo Commission.

Currin said GuptaLeaks whistleblowers‚ "Stan" and "John"‚ “were adamant from the outset that this should always be seen as a South African process”.

This is a developing story.