Des van Rooyen slams 'white monopoly capital' at Zondo inquiry

11 August 2020 - 16:14 By MAWANDE AMASHABALALA
Former minister of finance Des Van Rooyen testified at the state capture commission in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 11, 2020.
Former minister of finance Des Van Rooyen testified at the state capture commission in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 11, 2020.
Image: Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle

Des van Rooyen, the minister with the shortest stint at the National Treasury, opened his testimony at the state capture inquiry with a 20-minute political speech on Monday.

Van Rooyen requested that the commission expand its terms of reference to look into the influence of “white monopoly capital” on the South African democratic state.

He said it was worrisome that everyone associated with former president Jacob Zuma was painted as corrupt.

“It is important for me to emphasise that the court of public opinion has long concluded that anyone associated with his excellency President Jacob Zuma is corrupt,” he said. “It is interesting but not surprising to note that this is the political narrative of media owned by white monopoly capital.”

Van Rooyen said a state capture commission with extended terms of reference would reveal that it was white monopoly capital that had captured the state.

An example provided, which he believed gave credence to this, was that many officials who work for the National Treasury are absorbed by corporate SA when they leave government.

“I support the call for the expansion of this commission’s terms of reference to establish the relationship of white capital to our new democratic state,” he said. “Why did this new government allow a foreigner — Coleman Andrews, the former CEO of SAA — to sell 61 aircraft and went back to leasing them at R1.6bn per annum,” he asked.

“As if this was not enough, he was given a golden handshake of R250m.”

Van Rooyen said white monopoly capital, which he claimed influenced the outcome of the ANC Nasrec conference in 2017, was having a free ride.

More worrying, he added, were allegations that judges were paid money, but those documents had been sealed by the courts.

“If the terms of reference are extended, we will get to understand why these things are happening,” he said. “I am more worried about this development about Nasrec because there is an embargoed report which at some stage will shed more light.”

Van Rooyen complained that the commission had taken two years to give him the opportunity to state his side of the story regarding allegations related to him.

But he added that at least the commission had done so — unlike former public protector Thuli Madonsela, who he said never gave him the opportunity to be heard before making adverse comments.

Van Rooyen's legal team earlier in the day cross-examined former Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile.

TimesLIVE

PODCAST | ANC has no teeth when dealing with corruption


X