In an interview with eNCA on Sunday, Masemola said the Gupta family was introduced to Jacob Zuma by Mbeki and Essop Pahad.
Mbeki’s camp rubbished these claims the following day.
“For the record, President Thabo Mbeki did not at any point introduce the Gupta family to President Zuma,” the Thabo Mbeki Foundation said in a statement.
The foundation added that even if the claims were true, that Mbeki had make the introduction, he could not be held responsible for what may or may not have happened between Zuma and the Guptas thereafter.
“For Mr Masemola to suggest otherwise is in fact to accuse President Zuma of lacking the capacity to make his own ethical judgements.”
Claims that a member of the Gupta family had served as one of Mbeki’s economic advisors were also dismissed.
“This too is false,” the foundation said in the statement. “No member of the Gupta family ever served in any economic advisory body during the time when President Mbeki served as head of state.
“It is nevertheless true that Ajay Gupta served on the International Marketing Council board [now Brand SA].”
According to the statement, Ajay had reported to Pahad.
Former minister Pahad refused to comment on any allegations regarding the Guptas.
“I’m really sorry, but I’m not giving any interviews to anyone regarding this,” he told News24. “People just write what they want.”
Ajay Gupta left for Dubai with his brother Atul on their luxurious private jet at the weekend.
The brothers left the country after cutting ties with Oakbay Investments “to save jobs”.
The family has been accused of wielding undue influence over the president, with opposition parties calling for their heads over the alleged “state capture”.