former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane. File picture: Kopano Tlape (GCIS)
former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane. File picture: Kopano Tlape (GCIS)

#StateCaptureInquiry: 'ANC tried to force banks to take Gupta accounts'

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published Sep 20, 2018

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Johannesburg - Another top banker on Wednesday accused ANC leaders and former cabinet ministers of attempting to force one of the country’s major commercial banks to take over accounts belonging to the Guptas and their associates.

Nedbank chief executive Mike Brown told the commission of inquiry into state capture, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane tried to force it into re-opening bank accounts belonging to the Guptas and related entities.

Brown told the commission the inter-ministerial committee headed by Zwane tried to force Nedbank to step in and take over the accounts closed by its competitors Standard Bank, Absa and FNB in 2016.

Zwane told Brown the banks were disrespectful towards the government by refusing to meet his committee. Nedbank was the last of four of the country’s major commercial banks to testify this week.

The bank’s testimony follows those of executives from Absa, Standard Bank and FNB which implicated ANC leaders, including national chairperson Gwede Mantashe, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, national executive committee members Enoch Godongwana and Faith Muthambi, as well as legal adviser Krish Naidoo in attempts to save the Guptas’ bank accounts.

Former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown will know today if she is allowed to cross-examine witnesses at the inquiry. The commission will decide on her application to cross-examine witnesses who implicated her.

Justice Zondo said he would rule on Brown’s application today. The former Western Cape premier and ANC national executive committee member is disputing the evidence presented before the commission and believes she will be implicated in some witness’s evidence.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has accused Brown of changing an optimally performing and competent board at the helm of stateowned arms manufacturer Denel. Outa said Brown deemed it fit to replace the board and interrupt what was obviously a competent board.

The organisation said it is attempting to illustrate the rationale, or lack thereof, for the removal of an optimally operating board at the beginning of 2015, with the appointment of a questionable board chaired by Lugisani Daniel Mantsha, who was recently appointed as former president Jacob Zuma’s attorney in his fraud and corruption trial.

It said Denel had good prospects and an order book of more than R35 billion and group chief financial officer Fikile Mhlonto was once nominated public CFO of the year.

The Star

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