You're going to get a Gupta minister, Fuzile told after Nene's axing
Johannesburg - "You will now receive a Gupta minister and he will arrive with his advisors".
This is what former Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile told the Zondo commission on Wednesday.
He said that ANC head of economic transformation Enoch Godongwana revealed this to him during a phone call on December 9 2015.
This was the same day Nhlanhla Nene was fired as finance minister.
Nene was replaced by little-known ANC backbencher Des van Rooyen.
Fuzile said he was shocked by Gondongwana's comment and asked him what he meant by his statement. The latter then replied, "don't you guys talk as director-generals?"
Godongwana told Fuzile that Van Rooyen's new advisers would probably be of Indian descent and they would likely control him.
"They (Guptas) will give him (Van Rooyen) replacements for you guys," Fuzile recalls Godongwana telling him.
Fuzile said he later had a meeting with the former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas who told him about the Gupta's offer of the finance minister position.
Jonas also told Fuzile that he was instructed that once he took the job, he would have to fire four director-generals at Treasury: Fuzile, Kenneth Brown and Ismail Momoniat.
He told the commission that following his meeting with Jonas and the conversation he had with Godongwana, it became clear that there was an agenda to take over the Treasury.
"The conversation with Jonas helped me form a good picture about the modus operandi involving ministerial appointments and advisors. I was starting to get a picture about what the Guptas wanted and what the president of the country wanted and was doing," said Fuzile.
He said the advisers, who were reportedly Ian Whitley and Mohamed Bobat, were unknown to Van Rooyen.
"Van Rooyen's familiarity to the people he brought as advisors was very limited if at all," said Fuzile.
Fuzile will continue with his testimony on Thursday.