Van Rooyen's Gupta-linked advisor shared classified information - Fuzile
Johannesburg - Former Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile told the Zondo commission how one of Des van Rooyen’s advisors had shared classified cabinet information days after the new minister had taken office.
Fuzile said van Rooyen’s advisor Mohamed Bobat wasted no time in sharing the presentation which was formulated by Treasury and would be presented by van Rooyen to the cabinet, with Gupta linked Eric Wood, who headed Trillian Capital.
The former director said this was reckless as the information could not be shared with anyone outside of the government. He said it was unknown who else got the presentation, which contained details about a strategy on how to turn around the economy.
"The information contained in that document was about the strategic thinking of cabinet on how first to understand the sluggishness of the South African economy and the causes,” said Fuzile. "Some of that information it has the potential to move the market one way or the other if you have the access to the information early, you don’t have to speculate.”
The former public servant said he could only conclude that the people that Bobat shared the presentation with had only one intention in mind, and that was to profit from the information.
“When the presentation was sent to Mr Whitely, by myself or the former chief of staff to the former minister, Mr Bobat immediately forwarded that presentation to people like Mr Eric Wood in particular.
“He had shared classified information intended for cabinet with people outside the government like Mr Eric Wood. I can only infer that these are people who sought to profit personally from such information. We do not know who else got the information once it had landed in Mr Whitely and Mr Bobat’s hands,” he said.
Whitely and Bobat were known to have links to the Guptas. The two joined Treasury in December 2015 hours after Nhlanhla Nene was fired as finance minister and was replaced by van Rooyen.
Fuzile concluded his testimony on Thursday. The current director-general at National Treasury Dondo Mogajane is expected to testify on Friday.IOL