AS IT HAPPENED | State capture inquiry adjourns to address Zuma's concerns

2019-07-17 14:30

Former president Jacob Zuma faces a third day of questions at the state capture inquiry in Johannesburg.

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Former president Jacob Zuma testifies at the Commi
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Last Updated at 13:14
17 Jul 15:46

17 Jul 15:41
"I am confident that a way will be found to proceed with a certain understanding," Zondo says.

17 Jul 15:39
It has been decided that the commission will adjourn today and will not sit tomorrow, so that the legal teams can try to find a way forward - Zondo.

17 Jul 15:38

Zondo says there has been a discussion involving various legal teams and himself. 

This commission would like to make sure that as far as possible, it takes everybody on board. At least it should make attempts as far as possible to do so. 

"The former president has expressed certain concerns. What has been agreed is that there should be an opportunity for the commission's legal team and Zuma's legal team to look at the concerns and see whether a way can be found in which they can be accommodated without the commission's legal team compromising the job that they need to do...


17 Jul 15:36

The commission resumes. 

Zondo says we adjourned so that the former president and his legal team "could reflect on the situation". 


17 Jul 14:34
The commission will now adjourn for thirty minutes. Zuma's legal team wants to consult the former president on whether or not he should reconsider giving testimony.

17 Jul 14:31

Sikhakhane for Zuma now on his feet. 

He wants an adjournment. 

"I have a view that my client was brought in under false pretenses. My client is clearly being cross-examined. I want my client to consider his position - I advised him to come here in bona fides and I do not think I was right."


17 Jul 14:29

Evidence leader Paul Pretorius says it would be unfair to Zuma if he did not put certain things to him where he has clearly been implicated by another witness. 

But he understands part of the complaint and will put the next section to Zuma "in broad summary". 

Zondo suggests that Pretorius avoid details which are not pertinent to the issue. 


17 Jul 14:27

Zondo explains that just because Zuma has answered something, does not mean that is the end of it. The commission must weigh up all the evidence and ensure it has a full picture. 

Zuma says he is still concerned that he is being asked about details of which he doesn't have direct knowledge. 


17 Jul 14:24

Zuma is objecting to being "cross-examined". This is because Pretorius took him through Hogan's full statement and asked him to respond to the details of it. 

In this report, Hogan explained to Zuma why Gama should not be appointed.


17 Jul 14:19

The commission resumes. 

Zondo says to Zuma that Barbara Hogan told the commission that Zuma told her that her only option for Transnet CEO was Siyabonga Gama. 

Zondo says that if this is true, it "may well" be interference. 

Zuma previously said he was concerned about being asked about governance details. 

Zuma says now that even if he had a view on Gama's appointment, it would not have been the end of the matter as the appointment would still have had to go through a process. 

Zuma says he has denied the accusation that he interfered, and he has an issue with having to go through all these details. 


17 Jul 14:09

For context: 

Former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan says former president Jacob Zuma "hung her out to dry" while she faced immense pressure from some of her colleagues who wanted her to appoint Siyabonga Gama as Transnet CEO.


17 Jul 14:02

In case you missed it:

On day two of former president Jacob Zuma's appearance before the state capture commission, he seemed to be uncertain or unwilling to comment about allegations against him. His relationship with the Gupta family as well as allegations put forward by former MP Vytjie Mentor were also explored. Here are his top quotes from the day:  


17 Jul 13:59

In case you missed it:


17 Jul 13:00
The commission adjourns for lunch.

17 Jul 12:49
Zuma says he does not remember Hogan's report. 

17 Jul 12:49

Zondo asks if Zuma responds to Hogan's report. 

"There were so many memorandums..." Zuma says. 

But he says he would have approved the appointments that ministers asked for "unless there is a problem", in general. 


17 Jul 12:43
Hogan's report also said that it was not true that Siyabonga Gama was the board's second choice after Sipho Maseko.

17 Jul 12:41

17 Jul 12:38

Pretorious asks whether Zuma was aware that Sipho Maseko was recommended as Transnet CEO? 

He repeats, "I think so, yes." 

This is contained in the report from Hogan to Zuma. 


17 Jul 12:36

Pretorius asks Zuma whether he was aware that the board did not think Gama was a suitable appointment. 

"Yes I think so," he says.


17 Jul 12:31

Pretorius explains that, in her report to Zuma, Hogan raised concerns about delays in appointing a GCEO to Transnet and explained the procedures undertaken by the board, which are involved in interviewing candidates.


17 Jul 12:26

17 Jul 12:26

17 Jul 12:25

COMMENT: 

Either Zuma is lying, or three high profile public servants are. In the last three days he has flatly denied, or claimed he cannot remember, the testimony of:

1) Themba Maseko (former GCIS CEO)

2) Vytjie Mentor (former MP, chair of Parliament's public enterprises committee)

3) Barbara Hogan (former public enterprises minister)

All three have pinpointed Zuma as someone who allegedly interfered in the hiring and firing of people arbitrarily at best, or maliciously at worst.

- Sarah Evans


17 Jul 12:21

17 Jul 12:19

Pretorius clarifies why this line of questioning matters. 

He says the process of appointing people at SOEs is "integral".


17 Jul 12:17

17 Jul 12:16

17 Jul 12:16

17 Jul 12:09

Pretorius asks Zuma directly whether he wanted Gama to be appointed as Transnet CEO. 

"I think I was looking at the process... I did not put my preference on Gama or whoever," Zuma responds.


17 Jul 12:05

Zondo: When one reads Hogan's statement, one gets the impression ("and I want to put it no higher than that"), that when she put names forward to cabinet for appointment to SOEs, that she wanted to be sure that the President had no objection. 

That's the impression, she didn't say that, Zondo clarifies. 

Zuma: normally ministers would come to the president before (making appointments).

"It does happen."

The president might have views, but he cannot say, "no you can't do this," Zuma says.


17 Jul 12:02

He does not remember discussing an individual like Gama.

"I could not have said so." 


17 Jul 12:02

Hogan then told Zuma that Gama was under investigation. 

Zuma says he can't remember this specifically, but he was informed at some point that Gama was being investigated.


17 Jul 12:00

Pretorius continues. Hogan says that she told Zuma that she could not overrule the Transnet board's recommendation to appoint Maseko and not Gama. 

Pretorius asks if Zuma remembers this. Zuma says he cannot remember. 


17 Jul 11:59

Zuma says that if Hogan's version is true, it would mean that he did not follow due process. 

"No, it does not work like that," he says.


17 Jul 11:58

Zondo says Zuma needs to be clear about whether he cannot remember things or whether they did not happen. 

Zuma says he could not have said it (insisting that Gama should be appointed.).


17 Jul 11:55

Zuma: "I don't remember myself saying these things." He asks how he could have insisted on Gama when he had serious allegations against him. 

Zuma denies Hogan's account of the meeting. 


17 Jul 11:55
But Hogan was "shocked", recounts Pretorius", that Zuma insisted that Gama was his preferred candidate. Hogan said she told Zuma that she could not override the board which had gone through a rigorous process to find their preferred candidate (Maseko). 

17 Jul 11:54

Hogan says she met with Zuma and fully briefed him on Transnet. She said that at GCEO and chair of Transnet would have to be appointed urgently. Hogan said he briefed Zuma on the misconduct allegations against Gama and on the board's own preferred candidate, which she endorsed. 

Zuma says he remembers this. 


17 Jul 11:53

Hogan: the board had nominated only one candidate, Mr Sipho Maseko. 

But Gama was ultimately appointed.


17 Jul 11:50

From our reporting on Hogan's testimony at the time: 

She (Hogan) said she had recommended Sipho Maseko to Zuma because he had emerged as the leading candidate. However, the former president insisted on Gama for the position.

Maseko is the current Telkom CEO.Zuma had never raised concerns or any reasons why Maseko should not be appointed, she said, adding that she had found out a month or two later that the ANC supported Gama as a candidate for the job.

Hogan mentioned that the ANC, SACP and ANC Youth League – which was led by Julius Malema at the time – had all issued statements in support of Gama, claiming he was being persecuted. She said then minister Siphiwe Nyanda and minister of energy Jeff Radebe also made statements that Gama would become CEO, and that he was being persecuted as Zuma had been.


17 Jul 11:48

Context: 

A key bone of contention from Hogan was that she did not want to appoint Gama, as he was facing disciplinary action. But she alleges that pressure came from Zuma to appoint him, and that she was fired when she refused to appoint him. 

Here is Hogan's evidence: 


17 Jul 11:46

Pretorius now moves on to the resignation of Maria Ramos as CEO of Transnet in 2009. Pravin Gordhan was one of the applicants for the post but he withdrew his application and went on to become finance minister.

A "fiction" arose at the time that Siyabonga Gama CEO of Transnet Freightrail was second on the preferential list for candidates to takeover as CEO of Transnet. This is according to Hogan. She said there was no such preferential list. 

Zuma doesn't remember the details of such a list. But what he knows is that Gama himself applied. 

"The view in that process was that this man, we know him, he has been working here, he is capable." - Zuma. A decision was taken to appoint Gama.


17 Jul 11:42

17 Jul 11:38

The commission resumes. 

Zondo to Zuma: Is it your understanding that loyalty to a party should be a factor in appointments to government? 

Zuma: I'm not really saying that. I'm saying that when political parties win elections (globally) they take their people into government. 

Zuma clarifies that loyalty is not the only factor. 


17 Jul 11:15
The commission adjourns for tea.

17 Jul 11:14

Zuma says appointments are also discussed vigorously at a cabinet level. 

"The process is thorough."


17 Jul 11:08
The part of Hogan's statement currently being disputed by Zuma: 

17 Jul 11:07
Zuma says its not possible that everyone on the deployment committee will come from the same faction. People on the committee is not appointed on that basis - they are appointed by the structures. 

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