Former Finance Minister Des Van Rooyen says he met with the Gupta family several times at their Saxonwold residence.
Van Rooyen has been testifying at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry about his stint as Finance Minister that lasted four days in 2015.
He was appointed by then-President Jacob Zuma, following the shocking removal of Nhlanhla Nene.
Below Des van Rooyen testifies at the State Capture Inquiry:
He was later replaced with Pravin Gordhan following public outrage that resulted in a nationwide #ZumaMustFall protest.
Van Rooyen says the meetings were in his capacity as the Treasurer General of the MKMVA.
“If my memory serves me well because there are cases where I meet Rajesh or Tony Gupta at the residence in Sandton, so the meetings didn’t only take place at their residence.”
Van Rooyen has also confirmed that he appointed one of his special advisors Mohamed Bobat without verifying his qualifications. Bobat is one of the advisors Van Rooyen came with after his appointment as Finance Minister in 2015. During his testimony last year, former Treasurer DG Lungile Fuzile told the commission that he was informed by senior ANC member Enoch Godongwana that he will be getting a Gupta minister who will arrive with Indian advisers. Van Rooyen told evidence leader Advocate Garth Hulley he had no reason to doubt Bobat’s qualifications even without seeing his CV.
“Through my engagement with him I was able to verify that he was a qualified person, I had no reason not to believe him when he told me of his qualifications,” he said.
Earlier, a heated debate at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry ensued over a statement issued after Van Rooyen’s appointment.
Fuzile was being cross-examined by Van Rooyen’s lawyer Advocate Kgomotso Mathipe.
The commission chairperson Deputy Chief Just Raymond Zondo had granted permission for Fuzile to be cross-examined before Van Rooyen gives his evidence.
Advocate Mathipe argued that Fuzile mislead the commission when he testified that Van Rooyen refused to issue a statement after his appointment.