Former communications minister Faith Muthambi has hit back at the allegations levelled against her by Government Communication and Information System acting chief executive Phumla Williams at the inquiry into state capture.
The former minister indicated that she would seek legal advice over these allegations.
During her testimony at the state capture inquiry, chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, Williams, who worked under Muthambi when she was still the minister, said that Muthambi “wanted to steal at all costs” and resorted to taking away key responsibilities from Williams’ role as director-general at the GCIS because she “knew” that Williams would not be a willing participant.
Muthambi, in a statement released on Tuesday, alleged that she had experienced Williams’ “modus operandi” for years, and that Williams was “one of the most shameful manipulators and liars that I have ever had the displeasure to encounter”.
Likening her experiences working under Muthambi as “apartheid torture”, Williams said that as a result of the stress that she endured working under Muthambi, she had panic attacks and had to move into her sister’s house because she suffered from anxiety and couldn’t sleep.
Muthambi has accused Williams of tarnishing the reputation of the GCIS and that Williams used her experience of torture at the hand of apartheid policemen to manipulate her experiences.
“Her emotional, self-serving outburst, and entirely inappropriate attempt to refer to ordinary managerial and management processes as similar to torture, and her experiences in detention, is so deliberately emotionally manipulative, that it would have been laughable if her intentions in doing so were not so blatantly malicious and informed by an irrational [almost psychotic] hatred for me,” Muthambi said.
Williams was an Umkhonto weSizwe operative during apartheid, and during her testimony, she likened the torture that she underwent under Muthambi’s administration to that of the torture she had undergone as an operative.
“I am seeking legal advice on these extremely one-sided evidence-laced with half-truths and blatant lies that Ms Williams presented to the commission. A very different truth will emerge, and her lies and reactionary agenda will be finally exposed for all to see,” Muthambi said.