Johannesburg - Former intelligence boss Mo Rieaz Shaik says former state security minister Siyabonga Cwele was determined to stop an intelligence investigation into the Gupta family.
The former intelligence boss, who headed the foreign branch, took the stand at the inquiry on Monday and said Cwele would not listen to reason on the possible questions and basis for investigating the family.
He detailed a 2011 meeting with Cwele where he along with his intelligence colleagues fought to prove that the investigation was necessary. The three intelligence officials, Gibson Njenje and Jeff Maqetuka, had decided to pursue an investigation into the Gupta family.
Shaik said several factors motivated for the investigation. The first was the call from US intelligence services and concerns from the then US ambassador to SA about the Gupta’s involvement in the purchase of a uranium mine.
The Americans were worried that the Iranian government may be involved in funding the project. Shaik, Njenje and Maqetuka were also concerned about national security-focused on allegations the Gupta’s intimate knowledge of former president Jacob Zuma’s 2010 cabinet reshuffle.