‘I was not one of Zuma’s favourites,’ Gi­gaba tells Par­lia­men­tary In­quiry

Daily Nation Newspaper - - NEWS FROM AFRICA -

JOHANNESBERG - Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba says he was never for­mally in­tro­duced to the con­tro­ver­sial Gupta fam­ily, and he was just one of sev­eral min­is­ters who had been in­vited to the fam­ily’s events.

Gi­gaba is tes­ti­fy­ing at Par­lia­ment’s in­quiry into state cap­ture at state-owned com­pa­nies.

“I was not for­mally in­tro­duced to the Gup­tas. There are a num­ber of other min­is­ters who were be­ing in­vited to these ac­tiv­i­ties, and they at­tended. Even­tu­ally we started trick­ling out be­cause of var­i­ous rea­sons.

“I don’t know why they went out to me(in­vi­ta­tions), peo­ple think you be­ing there adds value, adds colour to the cer­e­monies. Many peo­ple in busi­ness go to the ex­tent of in­vit- ing celebri­ties, and pay. That’s why I didn’t find it pe­cu­liar. “When I was in Dur­ban I got in­vited to a num­ber of re­li­gious gath­er­ing. It was noth­ing of sig­nif­i­cance, no de­ci­sions get taken there,” said Gi­gaba.

His ap­pear­ance fol­lows news on Mon­day night that the Gup­tas and Duduzane Zuma, fin­gered for their role in the cap­ture of state-owned com­pa­nies, would not ap­pear be­fore the in­quiry. Gi­gaba ac­counted for his time as Min­is­ter of Pub­lic En­ter­prises be­tween Novem­ber 2010 and May 2014.

He said it was “dis­heart­en­ing and shock­ing” to wit­ness his board ap­point­ments who were now be­ing im­pugned. Asked by the DA’s Natasha Maz­zone about for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s role in the ap­point­ment of board mem­bers at the state-owned com­pa­nies, he said he would only see his for­mer boss to con­sult.

He also de­nied that he was one of Zuma’s favourites.

“No, I was not. I would go to the pres­i­dent to con­sult. He (Zuma) would not say, bring this one on, take this one out. I won’t say I was a favoured mem­ber of the Cab­i­net.

“There were many peo­ple who were never reshuf­fled, that does not make them favourites. I was not the first, or the sec­ond op­tion for fi­nance min­is­ter... that is on pub­lic record. “There was some­one else who was be­ing ear­marked for fi­nance min­is­ter, when that did not hap­pen be­cause of dis­agree­ments within the Tri­par­tite Al­liance,” said Gi­gaba.

Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba, who is tes­ti­fy­ing at Par­lia­ment’s in­quiry into state cap­ture at SEOs, says he was not a favoured mem­ber of the Cab­i­net

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