The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture continues with testimony from former transport minister Ben Martins.
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Truth of Gupta Waterkloof landing never told – DA’s David Maynier
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has been the target of a public outcry over the past few months, with questions being raised about her fitness to hold office.
Now, her predecessor, Thuli Madonsela, has raised questions about why Mkhwebane closed her investigation into the justice, crime prevention, and security (JCPS) cluster probe into the Gupta Waterkloof landing in 2013.
In an article published in Business Day on Tuesday, the newspaper quoted Madonsela as saying: “The truth is the investigation was completed and all we needed was a report. How after that they closed the investigation is a mystery.”
Western Cape Finance MEC David Maynier of the DA originally laid the complaint with the Public Protector in 2013 and says he does not support Mkhwebane’s decision.
State capture: ‘Putting pressure on NPA amounts to interference’ – Lamola
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says if he is to put pressure on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to make arrests in state capture cases, it will be tantamount to political interference.
He insists prosecutors must be guided by the evidence before them in taking decisions on who and when to charge.
In a wide-ranging interview with News24 on Monday, the recently appointed minister stressed the independence of the NPA.
Political interference at the NPA has been a concern over the past decade and the issue of whether the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) is accountable to the minister was a key topic at the Ginwala inquiry.
Do you mean ‘blacks can’t cook?’ asked ex-SAA board chair Dudu Myeni
Former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni was opposed to the 2015 appointment of LSG Sky Chefs as airport lounge catering company and wanted the contract to be awarded to a subsidiary of the national carrier, the commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Monday.
According to testimony by former acting CEO of SAA, Thuli Mpshe, an irate Myeni had demanded to know why the contract was not awarded to Air Chefs, and called for a “comprehensive review” of the tender, citing support for local companies.
Upon the granting of the tender, Myeni had confronted Mpshe, asking how had Sky Chefs been appointed, stating that SAA had an obligation to its rival Air Chefs.
Mpshe told the commission that Air Chefs had not been not considered for the bid as they had failed to meet the minimum requirement for the three-year tender, which was worth R85m.
‘You are not his mouth’ – The day Madonsela tried to corner Zuma
On October 6, 2016, then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela summoned all her experience, calm and maturity to try and conduct a formal and productive interview with Jacob Zuma, who was president and the central figure in allegations around state capture.
It wasn’t easy for the normally unflappable Public Protector, who had struggled for months to get an audience with the head of state. She had been blocked and thwarted at almost every turn, and now had to contend with Michael Hulley, Zuma’s legal contortionist, too.
After Madonesela explained the context and legal implications, Hulley launched into arguments why the interview with Zuma should not go ahead. He explained that the time given to his client to consider the allegations made against him was inadequate and that he wanted to respond to them substantively.
Zuma, Hulley argued, also has not had sight of the evidence brought against him and would need to look at it before formulating a response.
Zondo Inquiry: How tensions over Mumbai-Joburg route pushed SAA into agreement
Former South African Airways (SAA) CEO, Sizakele Mzimela, told the state capture commission of inquiry on Wednesday of the tension caused by the proposal to terminate the Mumbai-Johannesburg route, specifically between SAA, former Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba and Gupta-linked company Jet Airways.
Back and forth meetings between the two companies eventually culminated into a code-sharing agreement where both parties benefited. The agreement, however, was not struck before SAA got an opinion from the Competitions Commission, she said.
Mzimela told the commission that after an initial meeting was held at the Department of Public Enterprises with Gigaba as well as Jet Airways CEO, Naresh Goyal, a second meeting was held at SAA.
The meeting, Mzimela said, was called abruptly by Gigaba and Mzimela made her way to Cape Town without knowledge of what was to be discussed. Once she got there, Gigaba told the gathering that he had a few issues to discuss but first wanted an update on the Mumbai-Johannesburg route.
Zondo commission trying to ‘ambush and humiliate’ Jacob Zuma, says lawyer
Former president Jacob Zuma’s lawyer Dan Mantsha has accused the state capture commission of inquiry of an “unfortunate attempt at instigating the public” against his client.
In a letter Mantsha wrote, which News24 has seen, the former president said the commission’s decision to issue a media statement amounted to “nothing but a disinformation campaign and an unfortunate attempt at instigating the public against our client”.
Zuma has confirmed that he will attend the commission on July 15 to 19 even though the commission will not furnish him with questions in advance, which he requested.
But, in a statement released on Thursday, the commission said it took the position that it was enough that the former president would be afforded an opportunity to state his side of the story in response to certain identified witnesses who testified or gave statements or affidavits about issues that relate to him.
Jiba tried to dig up dirt on her NPA boss Nxasana, state capture inquiry hears
Former deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba ran a campaign against former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana in pursuit of his post, which was promised to her, the state capture commission of inquiry heard on Wednesday.
“My appointment only came into effect in October, so I had the whole of September in Durban before I took office.
“I heard that there were people driving around Umlazi, stopping people and asking them about me and my history, as well as my involvement in a murder case around 1985,” Nxasana told the commission.
The murder took place in 1985 and he was acquitted in the Durban Regional Court in 1986. He was 18 at the time.
Former NPA boss appointed a day after submitting CV, Zondo commission hears
Former NPA boss Mxolisi Nxasana was appointed National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) a day after he submitted his CV, the state capture commission of inquiry heard on Thursday.
“I remember I was running a trial at Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal when I received a call from Michael Hulley on August 30, 2013, who asked for my CV, which I then sent.
“He told me that the president was under pressure to appoint someone to the office of the NDPP and he intended to announce my appointment,” Nxasana told the commission.
Hulley was former president Jacob Zuma’s legal advisor at the time.
SABC sold 100 hours of footage to ANN7 for ‘peanuts’, Zondo commission hears
Former ANN7 editor Rajesh Sundaram, who was tasked with kick-starting the channel, has told the Zondo commission that the station obtained 100 hours of archived footage from the SABC at a “throwaway price”.
Sundaram was testifying for a second day at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Tuesday.
He told inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that, when he helped set up the station, he had concerns that a new station needed footage.
He claimed that Infinity Media shareholder Laxmi Goel had told him that the Gupta brothers and former CEO of Oakbay Investments, Nazeem Howa, had a “very sweet” deal with the SABC.