Zuma ‘sold SA to Gup­tas’ – Ra­matl­hodi

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - LOYISO SIDIMBA STAFF WRITER

FOR­MER min­eral re­sources min­is­ter Ngoako Ra­matl­hodi yes­ter­day gave ex­plo­sive ev­i­dence at the com­mis­sion of in­quiry into state cap­ture, liken­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s re­la­tion­ship with the Gup­tas to ‘auc­tion­ing off his ex­ec­u­tive au­thor­ity’.

Ra­matl­hodi told the com­mis­sion headed by Deputy Chief Jus­tice Ray­mond Zondo that Zuma gave ex­ec­u­tive au­thor­ity to third par­ties.

‘“That is the big­gest sin he com­mit­ted,” he said.

Ra­matl­hodi said the gov­ern­ing party’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) asked Zuma in vain what he was do­ing with the con­tro­ver­sial fam­ily.

“These peo­ple are my friends they helped my chil­dren when I was per­sona non grata by giv­ing them work,” Ra­matl­hodi re­called Zuma telling NEC mem­bers.

He said some of the things Zuma was do­ing were ir­ra­tional and his prox­im­ity to the Gup­tas, and the dam­age it was do­ing to him and the ANC,was dis­cussed not once in the ANC, but sev­eral times.

“We did not know the hold they had over him. The Gup­tas were like a python wrapped around Zuma,” the for­mer Lim­popo pre­mier tes­ti­fied.

Ac­cord­ing to Ra­matl­hodi, Zuma failed the coun­try and had to leave be­fore he did more dam­age.

He tes­ti­fied that the rot started af­ter Zuma’s re-elec­tion at the ANC’s na­tional con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber 2012.

Zuma, ac­cord­ing to Ra­matl­hodi, had a very strong fac­tion in the NEC and some of them were ben­e­fi­cia­ries of state cap­ture.

“He had too much power in the NEC. That pe­riod was a sea­son of mad­ness in the or­gan­i­sa­tion. The bal­ance of power was in his favour,” he said, adding that the NEC un­der Zuma was paral­ysed.

Ra­matl­hodi was re­moved as min­eral re­sources min­is­ter in Sep­tem­ber 2015 fol­low­ing his de­fi­ance of the Gup­tas and their as­so­ci­ates and “pro­moted” to the pub­lic ser­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion port­fo­lio as Zuma de­scribed.

He had re­fused re­quests to meet Ajay Gupta at the in­sis­tence of the for­mer pres­i­dent’s son Duduzane Zuma.

Duduzane and for­mer Eskom chair­per­son Dr. Ben Ngubane in­tend ap­ply­ing for leave cross-ex­am­ine Ra­matl­hodi, who has im­pli­cated both of them.

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