Five bombshells that were dropped at the Zondo Commission
Johannesburg - In a bid to get to the bottom of allegations of widespread corruption and state capture, particularly during former President Jacob Zuma's nine-year tenure as head of state, the State Capture Commission of Inquiry have seen some bombshells being dropped as revelations of the extent of state capture were shared live to the nation.
As the year winds down, we look at five explosives bombshells that have been dropped at the Zondo Commission.
1. In what was arguably the most anticipated and biggest appearance at the commission since its work commenced in August 2018, former president Jacob Zuma’s July appearance before the commission was a blockbuster of a show.
In response to former cabinet minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi telling the commission that the Gupta brothers had so much influence on Zuma that they would summon him to their Saxonwold compound and brag about it, Zuma said that Ramatlhodi had been an apartheid-era spy.
“What made comrade Ngoako to behave the way he did here, to say I have auctioned the country and in the NEC I just do what I like? He is carrying out an instruction. He was recruited when he was a student in Lesotho, to be a spy, and he finds it very comfortable to come here.”
2. During the same testimony, Zuma made further apartheid government spy allegations against General Siphiwe Nyanda, who he claimed was linked to the apartheid regime during the Struggle.
3. Transport Minister and former Police minister Fikile Mbalula told the commission he was shocked to receive a call from one of the Gupta brothers to congratulate him on his appointment as Minister of Sports and Recreation. Mbalula said he was shocked to receive a call from Ajay Gupta - who was not even a member of the ANC - telling him of such an important deployment.
4. Mbalula told the commission that he had eaten “lots of curry” at the Saxonwold Compound before talking with the Gupta brothers. He said that despite their hospitality he managed to stand his ground by not allowing himself to be manipulated by the business brothers.
“I don’t like curry but I had to it, more curry, curry, curry. But that curry never finished me. I stood firm,” stated Mbalula.
5. Former intelligence head Mo Shaik, appearing before the commission this week, is another to have dropped a massive bombshell by claiming that the Guptas could have been stopped if was not for Siyabonga Cwele refusing to probe them as far back as 2011.
Shaik told the commission that an intelligence operation was halted by then State Security Minister Cwele, who Shaik said would not listen to reason on the possible questions and basis for investigating the controversial business family.