Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene testifies before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
On Wednesday, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene testified before the commission of inquiry into state capture about the circumstances surrounding his being axed from his position by former president Jacob Zuma in 2015.

During the course of Nene's testimony, there were a number of strong points which he made, including his alleged links to the Gupta family, allegations that his wife had funds in foreign bank accounts and his alleged role in procuring funding from the Public Investment Corporation for a business in which his son was involved.

Here are ten quotes from Nhlanhla Nene's testimony: 

1. "I believe I was removed from office because of my refusal to toe the line in relation to certain projects. In hindsight, it seems that those projects may have benefited the Gupta family and other close associates."

2. "I reject with contempt fake WhatsApp messages alleging my wife has received any foreign funds in any account belonging to her. My wife does not have any foreign accounts and did not receive any funds from any foreign sources."

3. “I deny that I have ever acted inappropriately with regard to any investments made by the PIC. I deny any and every allegation that I knowingly acted to promote any funding from the PIC for any business involving my son."

4. ''I find the timing of these allegations (by the EFF) interesting and the manner in which they were raised on social media and not through appropriate channels. That these came just a few days before my appearance before the commission is very interesting and strange.''

5. "We (Nene and Mcebis Jonas) were supposed to meet at my office but we decided to meet at his office balcony. We thought the balcony would be safer. I could see that he was a bit flustered. He informed me of an uncomfortable meeting with Mr Ajay Gupta, Fana Hlongwane and Mr Duduzane Zuma in Saxonworld." 

6. "He (then deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas) told me that in that meeting he was offered the position of minister in the position I was holding that of the minister of finance. He also told me that Mr Ajay Gupta offered him R600 000 in cash immediately and a further R600 million that would be deposited in a bank account offshore."

7.  "Mr Jonas then told me that Guptas were aware of this (impending cabinet) reshuffle and that they had informed him that they were influential in the removal of certain ministers. I remember saying who are they to offer you the position of minister?"

8. "I never had any meetings with them (the Guptas) to discuss their business funding by the PIC while I was finance minister or deputy minister."

9. "The only time I got suspicious (about the Gupta family) was around 2013 when the Treasury was investigating one of their companies about a dairy farm (Estina) in the Free State. That is when I got suspicious about their saying that they do not do business with the State...that contradicted what they said to me."

10. "Minister Pettersson had a letter ready for me to consider and sign. In the letter addressed to the Russian authorities, I recall it was essentially providing a form of guarantee to the Russian government on the nuclear project. I was reluctant to sign as it would be a binding financial commitment from the SA government."

IOL