The former deputy finance minister who became one of the first whistleblowers on state capture has arrived at the commision of inquiry into state capture, where he is set to give testimony at 10 am.
In 2016, Jonas released a statement alleging that the Guptas had offered him money to replace Sifiso Nene as finance minister after Nene was fired in a what was a widely controversial decision by ex-president Jacob Zuma in 2015.
“Members of the Gupta family offered me the position of Minister of Finance to replace then-Minister Nene,” he said at the time.
“I rejected this out of hand. The basis of my rejection of their offer is that it makes a mockery of our hard earned democracy, the trust of our people and no one apart from the President of the Republic can appoint ministers.”
Jonas further alleged that he was offered R600 million if he accepted the position and R600 000 paid in cash on the spot.
In his testimony today, Jonas is expected to shed light on Zuma and his son Duduzane’s alleged role in state capture.
Jonas claims to have met with Duduzane as well as businessman Fana Hlongwane and the eldest of the Gupta brothers, Ajay.
Whether Hlongwane will appear before the commission is unclear. His legal representatives have said that he is considering it.
Earlier in the week, the inquiry saw acting chief procurement officer at National Treasury William Mathebula outlining procurement prescripts that underpin tender procurement at government entities. His testimony was a technical one to give an overall context and not meant to implicate anyone.
Mathebula told commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that although his department has an oversight role on government procurement matters through his office, fraud and corruption persists.
The State procures R800 billion in goods and services annually, Mathebula said.
While State procurement processes make provision for deviations of the tender process under certain strict rules, this has resulted in officials abusing the system in “unintended consequences” and costs the State hundreds of millions of rands, he said.