On Monday, Gordhan took the stand to testify at the Zondo commission of inquiry into allegations of corruption levelled against the controversial Gupta family and their associates during Zuma’s tenure.
Gordhan’s testimony came days after former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan also implicated Zuma in the capture of state-owned enterprises.
On Monday, Gordhan - appointed finance minister in 2009 by Zuma - told the commission how signs of what became known as state capture emerged soon after Zuma took over.
The former SA Revenue Service commissioner is the first ANC national executive committee member to testify at the commission.
Gordhan said that following the removal of Hogan in 2010 as minister, changes in the boards of public enterprises were made, and allegations of corruption emerged.
It took time before it was clear that a co-ordinated capture of the state was being pursued, Gordhan said.
"It looked like an ordinary set of events and then it still wasn't clear until more of these changes were being made, but the picture was still, I would think, fairly hazy, and then the kind of events that took place at the Treasury in late 2015, the manner in which the nuclear issue was dealt with, for example, all began to suggest that there was more to it than an individual act of what we today call corruption,” Gordhan said.
He added that Zuma’s decisions at the time pointed to a wider set of intentions and schemes that underpinned them.
“The connecting of the dots began after the kind of harassment we were subjected to in 2016. The logical question must be why. If a principal does not want someone he has appointed to a particular position, you dismiss the person,” he said.
Gordhan said the final penny on Zuma’s intentions and the activities of the Guptas dropped once the leaked Gupta emails came into the public domain, as they provided evidence about the role-players.
Through evidence leader Paul Pretorius, Gordhan told the commission how Zuma wanted at all costs for the nuclear deal to go through with Russia, despite red flags being raised by Treasury about the R1trillion transaction.
Gordhan also told the commission how Zuma pushed for the appointment of axed Sars boss Tom Moyane despite an appointment process that was already under way with around 120 applicants for the post.
He accused Zuma of ignoring him when he suggested that a proper process be followed and for Moyane to be tested against other candidates.
Hogan accused Zuma of also pressing her to appoint his preferred choice as group chief executive for Transnet before she was removed, among other allegations.
Other witnesses who implicated Zuma at the commission include former cabinet spokesperson Themba Maseko, who said the former president told him to assist the Guptas, who wanted government advertising for the media entities.
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor also claimed Zuma was present at the Guptas’ Saxonwold compound when she was offered a ministerial post.
Meanwhile, the EFF and Black First Land First staged a protest outside the commission venue as part of their campaign against Gordhan.
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu accused Gordhan of having been an enabler of state capture before he fell out with Zuma.
Shivambu said Gordhan had also lied under oath in Parliament about his meetings with the Guptas and that the party would not rest until he was removed from the cabinet.