OVERVIEW: 'Guptas wanted 4 people removed from Treasury' - Fuzile tells #StateCaptureInquiry how 'picture' unfolded

2018-11-21 13:00

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has wrapped up his testimony at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, and former national Treasury Director General Lungisa Fuzile has taken the stand.

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Last Updated at 17:47
21 Nov 16:40

21 Nov 16:39
Fuzile says "it became clear" to him that Van Rooyen didn't know much about the advisors he was given by the Guptas following his appointment.

21 Nov 16:38
Fuzile displayed some uncomfortability uttering the exact word used by Godongwana to describe the advisors. Maleka tells Fuzile that the chair is in need of the truth and not softened version of the truth.

21 Nov 16:36
Godongwana told Fuzile the replacement advisors would be "of Indian descent". 

21 Nov 16:32

21 Nov 16:32
Godongwana did not disclose who the advisors who would be coming in with Van Rooyen, he aslo did not follow up with Van Rooyen on this.

21 Nov 16:27

21 Nov 16:26
Fuzile says when Jonas was offered the position of finance minister along with a “huge sum of money” he was  also requested by the Guptas to remove four senior officials at Treasury, whow ould then be replaced by candidated of their choice.

21 Nov 16:25
Godongwana told him that "a Gupta minister will arrive with advisers given to him by the Guptas". Says this was connected to something Jonas had told him about the Guptas. The Guptas told Jonas he would be given advisors, Fuzile says.

21 Nov 16:14

21 Nov 16:14
Lungisa Fuzile, former Treasury DG, says it hit him "like a rock between the eyes" when he met Des van Rooyen's advisors...he knew there was a plan involving the Guptas.

21 Nov 16:13
Maleka says what Godongwana has conveyed to Fuzile is a serious violation of the Constitution.

21 Nov 16:07

21 Nov 16:07
Fuzile says he was overwhelmed by the call, once he met with one of Van Rooyen's adviser's it became clear that something was happening, and the words of Godongwana made sense to him.

21 Nov 16:02

21 Nov 16:02

Fuzile: You start the week with trying to make the budget for the country. There is an annoucement that fees for higher education were going to be frozen for a year. 

He says he didn't know about this but he was the DG.


21 Nov 16:01
Fuzile says when he was told that he was going to get a Gupta minister, he started to borrow from his former boss' phrase "connect the dots". He says it immeditely struck him that there was something in what Gordhan was saying.

21 Nov 16:01

21 Nov 15:53
Fuzile confirms that he received a call from Enoch Godongwana (the night Nene was removed) who said to him, "you are now going to get a Gupta minister who will arrive with his advisors". 

21 Nov 15:52
Nene said Fuzile and others should continue to do good work at Treasury.

21 Nov 15:51

Fuzile says he was not given any warning that Nene would be dismissed in December 2015. 

After learning about Nene's dismissal, he visited Nene at his home. The first thing Nene told him was "I don't have a job."


21 Nov 15:46
The commission resumes.

21 Nov 15:41

21 Nov 15:32
Commission adjourns for short break.

21 Nov 15:32
Fuzile tells commission that he wasn't surprised when Nene said this. Nene was fired in Dec 9, 2015 and replaced by Des van Rooyen. 

21 Nov 15:31

21 Nov 15:28

Fuzile confirms receiving message from Nene on the day of his removal saying 'the axe has fallen'. 

Understood it to mean that he has been fired. 

Fuzile added the prediction in the media about a Cabinet reshuffle and the replacement of Nene.


21 Nov 15:26

Asked about Cabinet meeting about removal of Nene.

Confirms sharing a fond relationship with Nene.

"I've been lucky, I've had good relationship with most ministers I've worked with."


21 Nov 15:23
The 2008 global economic meltdown drove SA into a recession in 2009, says Fuzile.  

21 Nov 15:16

21 Nov 15:13
2007/8 was the last time SA enjoyed a budget surplus, says Fuzile.

21 Nov 15:11

Although SA's budgeting process is one of the most transparent and advanced processes in the world, it becomes a difficult task.

Budgeting is giving up on something, that is when the difficulty arises. It's an inconvenient part. 

Uses free higher education as an example.

It becomes a case of "I wish I could give you this thing, but our country cannot afford it".


21 Nov 15:11
Maleka says Treasury DG Dondo Mogajane will testify tomorrow.

21 Nov 15:05

Fuzile says the organisation’s preparation of the budget for the country is one of the most important jobs at Treasury.

Asked to explain in ordinary terms what is a budget:

A budget is an expression in numbers of the aspirations and wishes of a nation, he says. An allocation of resources after promises are made.


21 Nov 15:03
Fuzile says he left Treasury in March 2017 upon his return from a London roadshow after hearing "Gordhan's time was up". He decided to step down as well, he tells the commission.

21 Nov 14:52

Fuzile explains the role of DG:

DG is a chief advisor to minister and deputy. The DG doesn't make policy, but is a key advisor, he says. A minister makes policy, but does not has to do the technical wack, that would then become the job of DG


21 Nov 14:50
He was asked to stay on upon Gordhan's return. Fuzile was appointed Director General in 2011 under minister Gordhan and Nene as deputy.

21 Nov 14:47

Says he was reluctant to take the job, initially.

"I yielded, took the job. Five years on my contract was close to expiring (May 2016).

When Mr Gordhan returned to Treasury he said 'My returning to Treasury has implications for your career plans'. I knew what that meant," he tells the commission.


21 Nov 14:44
Fuzile says he left National Treasury in May 2017 -  he had been there for 19 years. Maleka asks him to tell the commission why he left.  

21 Nov 14:41
Says he studied commerce, majored in Economics and Industrial Psychology. Obtained his Masters degree in Economics and completed various short courses.

21 Nov 14:38
Fuzile provides background information about his academic history to the commission, says he considers himself qualified in farming.

21 Nov 14:37
Maleka explains procedure to Fuzile, says he is allowed to refer back to statement for emphasis. 

21 Nov 14:31
Fuzile confirms signing the statement dated November 16, 2018. Confirms statement is correct to his knowledge and belief.

21 Nov 14:30

Now dealing with Fuzile's statement. Reference will be made to whistleblower information provided.

Fuzile will be asked whether this information was known to Treasury, and what was done with this information. 


21 Nov 14:15
Three national treasury witnesses will testify this week, says Maleka.

21 Nov 14:15
Fuzile's evidence will be lead by advocate Vincent Maleka.

21 Nov 13:06

Pretorius tells Zondo that (former Treasury DG Lungisa) Fuzile will be testifying after the lunch break, led by Advocate Maleka, and Zondo calls for the adjournment.


21 Nov 12:59

Pretorius informs Zondo that the legal teams of Tom Moyane and Shaun Abrahams are present at the commission today.

Moyane's legal representative tells Zondo they will be seeking an application to cross-examine Gordhan. 


21 Nov 12:54

Zondo thanks Gordhan once again, reminds him that he may be summoned or requested to appear before the commission again, and excuses him. 

Advocate Paul Pretorius now moves on to some legal applications with Zondo.


21 Nov 12:51

Gordhan finishes with a flourish, quoting Nelson Mandela and also the famous "No one left to speak for me" quote, to much applause around the commission venue. 

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