Fuzile describes events leading to Nene’s dismissal

Lungisa Fuzile
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The Former National Treasury Director General, Lungisa Fuzile, has dropped a bomb-shell when he described the events leading to the dismissal of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in December. He says he was never informed by the Presidency of the intention to re-shuffle a cabinet which would see Nene being removed and replaced by Des Van Rooyen.

Fuzile told the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture underway in Johannesburg that he heard through hearsay about the issues surrounding Nene, that including a phone-call he received from African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee, Enoch Godongwana alerting him that they shall get a “Gupta minister” with his directors and advisors.

Fuzile has told the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that he heard on the news that little known Des Van Rooyen was appointed the new Finance Minister.

He says speculation was rife a few days before the dismissal of former Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene that he would be fired, alongside three other directors at the department including Ismail Momoniat, Kenneth Brown and Andrew Donaldson.

He says prior to the firing of Nene, he received a call from Enoch Godongwana, an NEC member of the ANC responsible for economic development and transformation. Fuzile has added that by the time he got a text message from Godongwana, he heard how much of proximity the Gupta family was towards former President Jacob Zuma.

“I kind of didn’t understand what he was saying. I asked Godongwana what he meant by this.  He said to me, you guys don’t talk to one another as DGs. I said what do you mean we don’t talk. We do talk but not about what you’re talking about.  He said I would suggest that you have a conversation with your colleague Dr Tibedi Ramoncha who at the time was a DG at Mineral Resources.”

Earlier in the day, in his closing remarks at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan once again appealed to all those who have evidence of wrong doing in his part as former Finance Minister to come forward and give evidence to the commission under oath. He says he is open to criticism on what he put forward as evidence to the commission but has challenged the negative impact the threats have to the families of all those who are testifying before the Commission.

Gordhan says the allegations of corruption on his part moving to the mentioning of his daughter must come to an end. He says his daughter does not have business with the state.

Gordhan also appealed to the commission to help to recover the monies that have allegedly been stolen through the Gupta-related transactions which have led the bankruptcy of state-owned enterprises.

He says boards of many State Owned Enterprises in the country are currently looking into forensic reports which will assist with the recovery of state funds lost through corruption. He says the asset forfeiture process should be strengthened and used to recoup the funds.

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