Government Communication Information Systems (GCIS) acting Director-General, Phumla Williams, has painted a harrowing picture of her treatment at the hands of former Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.
Williams completed her testimony at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Parktown, Johannesburg earlier on Monday.
Williams says Muthambi made irregular changes at the GCIS, channeling important functions and decisions to people she could manipulate.
In testimony that was briefly adjourned when she broke down, Williams says Muthambi tortured her to an extent that she relived the trauma of the torture she’d endured when she was a young ANC activist during the apartheid era.
Williams says she’s certain that former president, Jacob Zuma, protected Muthambi.
“I went to speak to the president, I was certain that he was going to do something because by the way when I came into the country I was under his stewardship. He knew me very well because my activism was under his leadership and I did believe that when I went to him he was going to intervene on my behalf because I don’t think the president doubted my commitment to this country. But he kept quiet; sadly did nothing. That made me feel sad,” says Williams.
According to Williams, Muthambi’s attitude showed that she was working against the state and was determined to steal from government.
Asked if she thought Muthambi was strategically placed in her position to divert government’s resources to benefit the Gupta family, Williams had this to say: “I think the person who can respond to that is the president himself, what I do know is the damage that Minister Muthambi did who was going all out to make sure that the systems that existed in GCIS and the structure that existed were dismantled; whether that was part of the plan I have no idea. I think that the fact Muthambi continued and the president did nothing and wreaked havoc. What I would insist is the president knew what was happening.”
The commission, which has adjourned until Thursday, has been hearing evidence of the alleged abuse of power by senior government officials and the alleged involvement of Zuma and the Guptas.
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