* This story has been updated.
Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma interfered in procurement at national carrier SA Airways, the commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Thursday.
Agnes Stimpel, SAA’s former treasurer and head of financial risk management, told the commission headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that the airline’s former chief financial officer Wolf Meyer informed her that at a meeting with potential funders, one dropped Zuma’s name in an attempt to influence the deal.
"He (Meyer) said that he had been called into a meeting by one of the potential funders. He went to the meeting, he thought they were going to discuss the maximum amount they could offer. He was told that they must ensure that SAA gives this client the deal because ‘number one’ wants this deal to happen,” she said.
Stimpel said she frowned and asked Meyer meant.
”He said he understood that ‘number one’ meant to be the president at the time, Mr Jacob Zuma,” she explained.
According to Stimpel, the client was Jayendra Naidoo, who worked for First South, a financial institution gunning for a share of SAA’s R15 billion capital raising initiative in 2015/16.
After further questioning Stimpel acknowledged that she was not told that Naidoo was the client and conceded that she had not asked who it was and Meyer had not volunteered the information.
She said Meyer had raised his concerns about the funding.
In 2016, Stimpel was suspended after questioning the awarding of a R256 million contract to restructure its R15 billion debt to BnP Capital.
The BnP Capital deal was endorsed by former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni.