Siphiwe Nyanda confirms Gupta meeting with Fikile Mbalula

28 February 2019 - 16:29 By Amil Umraw
Former communications minister General Siphiwe Nyanda at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on February 28 2019.
Former communications minister General Siphiwe Nyanda at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on February 28 2019.
Image: ALON SKUY

Former communications minister Gen Siphiwe Nyanda has corroborated evidence before the state capture inquiry that Fikile Mbalula had disclosed, in an ANC national executive committee meeting in 2011, that members of the Gupta family had informed him about his cabinet post before he was appointed.

Testifying at the inquiry on Thursday, Nyanda, who was a member of the party’s executive until 2012, described Mbalula’s outburst at the meeting some 10 months after he was appointed as minister of sports and recreation.

Nyanda’s statement corroborates earlier testimony by former finance minister Trevor Manuel who was also present at the meeting.   

Earlier on Thursday, Manuel said Mbalula, who was promoted by then president Jacob Zuma to minister of sports and recreation in October 2010, had wept when he had told the ANC's top brass of his encounter with the Gupta family at their Saxonwold home before his appointment was announced.

The NEC meeting is said to have taken place in August 2011.

"He [Mbalula] made such a revelation that he was approached by the Guptas and told that he would become minister of sport before he actually knew, before he was informed by the executive authority, by the president. And indeed he was appointed to that position," Nyanda said.

He could not remember if Mbalula had cried during his admission.

"What was remarkable to me was that Mbalula made this standing revelation. It was actually a criticism of the way in which he had been informed about his impending appointment. He was, in other words, disturbed by it," Nyanda said.  

"It was the first confirmation that people had been told before their appointment. And I believe he was not the only one."


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