Gord­han leak ‘culprit’ fin­gered

For­mer au­di­tor-gen­eral ‘to blame’

The Sunday Independent - - FRONT PAGE - AYANDA MD­LULI ayanda.md­luli@inl.co.za

TER­ENCE Nombe­mbe, the for­mer au­di­tor-gen­eral and lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor of the State Cap­ture Com­mis­sion of In­quiry, has been fin­gered by very high-rank­ing of­fi­cials in the ANC and EFF as the culprit be­hind the leaked re­vised sub­mis­sion by Pub­lic En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han de­tail­ing his meet­ings with the Gup­tas dur­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s term.

Fol­low­ing Gord­han’s re­vised sub­mis­sion to the Zondo Com­mis­sion this week, In­de­pen­dent Me­dia has it on good author­ity from se­nior po­lit­i­cal sources that Nombe­mbe leaked the doc­u­ments in or­der to mit­i­gate Gord­han’s po­ten­tial po­lit­i­cal fall­out at the com­mis­sion.

Some po­lit­i­cal sources and an­a­lysts have warned that the en­tire sce­nario is play­ing it­self out as some form of rep­u­ta­tion man­age­ment strat­egy for Gord­han to en­sure that he does not fall on his sword like for­mer min­is­ter of fi­nance Nh­lanhla Nene.

Some ver­i­fied sources in the ANC have also re­vealed that Gord­han has had a fall­ing out with Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, who has struck a deal with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

The deal was struck in an ef­fort to bring unity to the party in the run-up to the 2019 elec­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to other se­nior ANC sources, Gord­han is be­lieved to want no part of the unity project and is “hell bent” on bring­ing down any­one who was “seen to be sym­pa­thetic to­wards the pre­vi­ous (Zuma) ad­min­is­tra­tion”.

Yes­ter­day, the Pres­i­dency re­fused to comment.

Nombe­mbe is the lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor at the com­mis­sion and is said to have very close ties with Gord­han.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion from ANC sources, Nombe­mbe is be­lieved to have leaked the doc­u­ments as he was promised a job by Gord­han as the head of the NPA once the com­mis­sion had ended.

Gord­han is widely be­lieved to have im­mense po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence.

Nene fell from grace last month af­ter he con­fessed at the com­mis­sion that he had lied about meet­ing the Gupta fam­ily on sev­eral ac­cu­sa­tions. He un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously re­signed as fi­nance min­is­ter and as an MP.

Gord­han has now been found to have also con­tra­dicted him­self about his meet­ing the Gup­tas.

Last year, when Gord­han was asked by the Sun­day Times if he had met the Gupta fam­ily, he said: “The an­swer is no. I am a very quiet per­son. I stick to my cor­ner.”

In his lat­est re­vised sub­mis­sion, it has been re­vealed he met the Gup­tas on four sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions.

Floyd Shivambu, an MP and deputy pres­i­dent of the EFF, said he be­lieved it was Nombe­mbe who leaked the re­port to gar­ner some pub­lic sym­pa­thy for Gord­han. This has back­fired, he said.

“The EFF long cau­tioned about Nombe­mbe and even wrote to the com­mis­sion to ob­ject to his in­clu­sion in the com­mis­sion. The Zondo com­mis­sion must in­ves­ti­gate Nombe­mbe and should sub­poena Ranjeni Munusamy be­cause she is the first one to write a pub­lic sym­pa­thy – mo­bil­is­ing ar­ti­cle in the Tiso Black­star ti­tles,” said Shivambu.

An­other high-rank­ing ANC source in the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee said Gord­han’s orig­i­nal sub­mis­sion did not take into ac­count what is now be­ing termed as the “Nene ex­pe­ri­ence” in ANC and govern­ment cir­cles.

“The Nene ex­pe­ri­ence taught them that there are con­se­quences to what they say in their sub­mis­sion and that they have to be mea­sured in what­ever they say, es­pe­cially with re­gards to the meet­ings with the Gup­tas,” said the source.

The source, who asked to re­main anony­mous so as to not be seen as a fac­tion­al­ist, con­firmed that Nombe­mbe was the prime sus­pect be­hind the leaks.

“I can tell you that the per­son who leaked this in­for­ma­tion is Nombe­mbe. He works very closely with Gord­han. Ev­ery­one knows it here in Luthuli House. We know it was him who leaked the re­port at the com­mis­sion. We also have rea­son to be­lieve that he did so as he was promised that he would be­come the head of the NPA (Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Author­ity).”

Boi­tumelo Senokoane, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at Unisa, said the in­tegrity of the com­mis­sion must com­prise peo­ple who are con­fi­den­tial by na­ture and do not have ul­te­rior mo­tives.

“For any­one who sees the com­mis­sion as a non-cred­i­ble struc­ture, the out­comes of the pro­cesses might be pre-empted. Should it be that there are peo­ple who are not cred­i­ble and who are leak­ing in­for­ma­tion, the whole process will be ques­tioned,” he said.

He was of the view that the leak held two pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios. The first be­ing that the in­tent of the leak was a ma­li­cious at­tempt to ex­pose Gord­han. The sec­ond was that it was a way to bring down the cred­i­bil­ity of the Zondo Com­mis­sion.

Nei­ther Nombe­mbe nor the com­mis­sion re­sponded to ques­tions at the time of go­ing to print.

Gord­han’s spokesper­son Adrian Lackay re­ferred all ques­tions to the com­mis­sion.

Ter­ence Nombe­mbe

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