LIVE FEED: State Capture Inquiry November 7, 2019
Johannesburg - Businessman Mzwanele Manyi will continue with his testimony at the Zondo commission on Thursday morning.
Manyi appeared at the inquiry on Wednesday and bemoaned what he termed as an "ambush" by the commission's legal team. He complained that he had not been given enough time to prepare for his appearance. However, he did agree to continue with questioning.
Manyi had been appointed as GCIS CEO in 2011 after being transferred from the department of labour where he had served as director-general. He replaced Themba Maseko who was transferred to the department of public administration.
He was accused of doing the Guptas' bidding by channelling advertising spend to TNA. Manyi bought TNA from the Guptas and ran it briefly before it was shut down.
He told the commission that there were no irregularities during his time as the head of GCIS. He also denied bulling people to support TNA's business breakfasts.
The commission also heard testimony from Maseko.
He first appeared last year and detailed how he was removed from GCIS because he would not assist the Gupta family to access government advertising spend.
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Last year he told the commission that he had been approached by Ajay Gupta who shared his newspaper's (The New Age) interest in accessing advertising spend which stood at R600 million.
He said he fought off attempts and had even been called by Zuma before his meeting with Gupta. Zuma, according to Maseko, indicated that Maseko should help the Guptas.
Maseko also testified that former minister in the president Collins Chabane had approached him in late January 2011 and informed him that Zuma wanted him out as the head of GCIS.
He said Chabane felt bad and had promised that he would not leave him to hang without a job.
When Zuma appeared at the inquiry in July this year, he denied instructing Chabane to dismiss Maseko. He alluded to the fact there may have been a troubled relationship between Maseko and Chabane that could have led to him being removed.
Maseko denied this and said Zuma was being untruthful in his statement.
“I think what the former president says in his oral evidence is untrue. There was never an issue between myself and Chabane. We had a very solid relationship and the way he conveyed the message to me indicated that he was shocked by the turn of events,” Maseko said.
Zuma had also told the inquiry that the decision to remove Maseko had been discussed in a cabinet meeting held in February.
Evidence leader for the commission Advocate Kate Hofmeyr, said through the commission's investigation the presidency had supplied it with a Cabinet memo from the February 2 meeting.
Hofmeyr said the memorandum shows that the issue of removing Maseko was never discussed at the meeting.
Maseko also agreed and said he was present at the meeting and the only time the issue of his removal came up was towards the end of the meeting when Chabane made the announcement.