Former National Treasury DG wraps up evidence at State Capture Inquiry

Former Director General of National Treasury, Lungisa Fuzile
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Former Director General of National Treasury, Lungisa Fuzile has wrapped up his evidence at the State Capture Commission. He outlined how his relationship with former Finance Minister Des van Rooyen was broken from when he joined the department.

Fuzile says people were removed and replaced with those who were either suggested by the Guptas or were connected to them. He also told the commission that when Des van Rooyen arrived at Treasury to replace Nene, it was obvious that he was not even familiar with the people he brought in as advisors.

Fuzile’s testimony comes after Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan‘s three-day submission at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture underway in Johannesburg.

The former Director-General of the National Treasury says chaotic scenes were the order of the day during the short period that Des van Rooyen was the Finance Minister. He says he tried several times to reach out to van Rooyen and even suggested that he release a media statement to ease the tension caused by the under-performing rand.

Fuzile says it appeared that at the time van Rooyen was not aware of his role as the Minister and lots of workers in the department were concerned about the new developments.

“He had a role in doing something to save that off and of course, with others and so on and so forth. But it was important that … because people were asking questions and speculation was around him and only him … Mr van Rooyen was in a position to dispel some of that speculation.”

Fuzile also told the commission there was no way he would bend over backwards for what he termed “bullying” from  van Rooyen in December 2015.

Apparently, van Rooyen had started demanding that he be given a handover report of the department – something that Fuzile says he refused to do as it was not his role as the Director-General of the department saying he should be asking such from his predecessor, Nhlanhla Nene.

Fuzile says he chose to stick to the rules and regulations of good governance, avoiding a situation where enforcement of power continues to be exerted on directors of National Treasury and thus advance State Capture. He, however, says he did not get to compile the handover report as van Rooyen was later moved to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

The commission continues on Friday afternoon, with the current Director-General of National Treasury, Dondo Mogajane, to testify.

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