The eagerly awaited report into allegations of state capture compiled by former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela has been released. The document, which has been marred by a court battle by President Jacob Zuma and two of his Cabinet ministers in their bid to block its contents from being made public, contains some very stunning findings.
Madonsela, in her remedial action, recommended that Zuma establish a judicial inquiry to probe allegations of improper conduct and undue influence exerted by the controversial Gupta family over him. The well-heeled family has been accused of appointing Cabinet ministers and senior officials to head the country’s state-owned companies.
The commission must be headed by a judge solely selected by the Chief Justice‚ Mogoeng Mogoeng‚ according to the 355 pages report.
The document was made public on Wednesday afternoon after Zuma abandoned his court bid to interdict its release. The North Gauteng High Court then ruled it should be released.
Here are the 10 key findings of the report:
- There is no evidence indicating that Zuma as head of the executive did anything to investigate claims made by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas that the Guptas had offered him the finance minister post in December last year before Nhlanhla Nene was sacked from his position. This is despite the fact that the allegations were in the public domain.
- Eskom CEO Brian Molefe is friends with members of the Gupta family, according to the report’s evidence and information obtained. In his interview with Madonsela, Ajay Gupta admitted that Molefe was a “very good friend” and often visited his home in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. Molefe previously confirmed their friendship in a media interview and has always said he sees nothing wrong with the state doing business with the Guptas.
- Zuma and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, the report shows, “took interest in the appointment of [parastatal] board members. President Zuma took an interest in the appointment of board members at Eskom and Transnet, whereas Mr Mantashe was interested in the appointment of board members at Transnet.”
- Former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan told Madonsela in her interview that Zuma made it “very difficult for her to perform her job”. It adds: “At a certain point he would not even allow her to appoint a director-general in her department.” all of this is related to her time as the minister of public enterprises before she was sacked by Zuma in one of his numerous Cabinet reshuffle.
- Jonas, in his discussion with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan about the Guptas offering him Nene’s job, “stated that they [the Guptas] informed him they made R6 billion from the State and wanted to increase it to R8 billion.” The family apparently also said they can report ministers who refuse to take their orders to their superiours to deal with them.
- The report confirmed that Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen was at the Guptas’ Saxonwold compound the night before he was appointed Finance Minister on 9 December 2015, according to cellphone evidence. However, Ajay denied this in his interview with Madonsela.
- Ajay Gupta apparently said Treasury was a stumbling block; he needed to get rid of its director-general Lungisa Fuzile and other key officials.
- Molefe received more mentions in the report; it appears the conduct of the Eskom board was at one point solely to the benefit of Tegeta, a Gupta-controlled company, which is in in severe violation of the Public Finance Management Act.
- From 2 August 2015 to 22 March 2016, Molefe called Ajay Gupta a total of 44 times and he called Molefe 14 times.
- Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane flew to Zurich, Switzerland and then proceeded to Dubai, UAE then Delhi, India. He then went back to Dubai, then Johannesburg, at a cost of R96 630.00. It appears Zwane acted in his personal interests on this trip and, if not contradicted or fully explained, it amounts to fruitless and wasteful expenditure.