Three spy fingers point to Zuma and other highlights from 'Vrye Weekblad'

Here's what's hot in the latest edition of the Afrikaans digital weekly

29 November 2019 - 08:32 By TimesLIVE
Former president Jacob Zuma.
Former president Jacob Zuma.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

The last piece of the puzzle fell in place this week at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, when two former heads of intelligence testified that Zuma forbade them to investigate the Guptas. 

In 2011, the country's three spy bosses were called into the state security minister's office in Cape Town. Jeff Maqetuka was the DG of National Intelligence, and Gibson Njenje and Mo Shaik were in charge of local and foreign intelligence respectively. 

The minister was Dr Siyabonga Cwele, an MD and economist and long-standing member of the ANC. He was also a known Zuma lackey and confidant. 

He called in the spy bosses all the way from Pretoria. The atmosphere in the office was cold and stiff. The three of them didn't trust Cwele. He, in turn, doubted their loyalty. 

Just a few days before this meeting, Maqetuka, Njenje, Shaik and their top management decided to investigate the Guptas. This wide-ranging investigation would include their business empire and their influence on Zuma.

Read all about it in this week's edition of Afrikaans digital weekly Vrye Weekblad.

The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) already had information that the Guptas had intimate prior knowledge of Zuma's cabinet reshuffle in 2010. One of the aims of the investigation was to determine whether there was a leak in the presidency or if the Guptas had a hand in the appointment of ministers. 

(The Zondo commission also heard this week that the Guptas had intelligence capacity even back then. It was either the family or a top official at the NIA who brought Zuma the news of the impending investigation.)

Cwele didn't waste time and told the three men: “Stop your investigation into the Guptas immediately. That is an order."

They argued that this investigation was in the interest of the country. In fact, if the president had nothing to hide, this investigation would clear him. 

Cwele wanted none of it. He said an investigation into the Guptas meant an investigation into the president. And that would not be allowed.

“Stop your investigation. That is a direct order from the president," he said. 

Read the full article in this week's Vrye Weekblad


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