Former president Jacob Zuma appears before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Johannesburg. Picture: Kim Ludbrook/EPA/African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday denied he'd insisted on Siyabonga Gama's appointment as Transnet Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) and wanted ''no one else.''

Zuma appeared before the commission of inquiry into state capture, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, for the third day where he was questioned on various testimonies by witnesses implicating him.

On Wednesday, the focus shifted to Hogan's testimony, in which she claimed the former president  pushed for Gama "and no one else" to be appointed GCEO after  Maria Ramos resigned and the preferred candidate to replace her, Pravin Gordhan, withdrew his candidacy due to his appointment as finance minister

This despite Gama, who was then head of  Transnet Freight Rail,  faced serious misconduct charges. 

Zuma denied expressing a preference for Gama, saying to do so would undermine the appointment process.  

"I don't remember myself saying this. How can I say this when someone is charged with serious charges... I don't remember me insisting on this. 

"It couldn't be like that, we don't work like that. As I say, there is a process that determines who becomes the winning candidate. What the ministers at times do, they will come to the president, just to brief, not to discuss whether we should do this or not and I'm not even fond of making determined statements. I would not have said this, not at all."

The former president said he knew of the accusations levelled against Gama, but denied that he insisted on halting the GCEO appointment process until an investigation into Gama had concluded.  

"I've got difficulty with this report because a consultation that the ministers do, they would be reporting, saying this is what has happened... from the position of the president, you say 'fine, go ahead, when things are okay, you'll come back'. I don't remember discussing an individual like Gama. I could not have said so."

Earlier on, Zuma was questioned on the role of the ANC's deployment committee, whose role Hogan had questioned during her testimony. 

Hogan had claimed that Zuma and some Cabinet colleagues had thwarted her attempts to get board appointments approved. She went even further, accusing the ANC's National Working Committee of taking it upon themselves to instruct a minister on who to appoint to certain positions. 

These raised doubts about the efficiency of the ANC 's deployment committee, she added.

Zuma dismissed Hogan's claims as her own views based on her own opinion, insisting that appointments were made through a process. 

The commission continues.

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