ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - Former minister of sports and recreation Fikile Mbalula is expected to take the stand at the Zondo commission this morning. 

Mbalula had delayed several times in appearing as he had issued with various paper work provided by the commission. 

He now serves as the ANC’s head of elections. 

His testimony is expected to focus on the Guptas and their prior knowledge of his appointment as minister of sports at recreation. 

Two witnesses, former finance minister Trevor Manuel and Former Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda, told the inquiry about an ANC NEC meeting where Mbalula stood up and told his concern that the Guptas had prior knowledge of his appointment as minister of sports. 

"Mbalula said when he was called to Saxonwold he was told that he was going be appointed as the minister of sports and recreation. And he was very excited about making it into a Cabinet as it was a big promotion. In retrospect, and this was the emotional part, it should never have been Guptas or anybody else who told him, it was the prerogative of the president and that prerogative had been violated in the way the information had been shared," said Manuel. 

"I think when Mbalula appears he is likely to confirm what I said. That is my sense that the violation of the constitutional prescript in the exercise of the power of the president that had been violated by someone who knew before he was entitled to. And seemed to suggest that he had sufficient power to confer a cabinet minister," he said. 

Nyanda also corroborated Manuel’s evidence about the same NEC meeting. 

Mbalula has long promised that he is prepared to appear before the commission and has said that what Manuel testified on is correct. 

The inquiry resumes at 9am.

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