State capture inquiry: Zondo dismisses EFF's objection to Terence Nombembe appointment

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. (Alex Mitchley, News24)
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

Chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, has dismissed the Economic Freedom Fighters' objection to the appointment of Terence Nombembe as head of investigations.

Zondo appointed Nombembe, a chartered accountant and auditor, who was the former auditor-general of South Africa, to head commission investigations.

However, shortly after his appointment, the EFF took issue with his appointment and accused him of being tainted after he allegedly accepted a donation of more than R1m from Trillian.

The Gupta-linked company had been implicated in state capture.

EFF leader Julius Malema demanded that Nombembe recuse himself because, during his tenure last year as CEO of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica), the organisation accepted a donation from Trillian.

READ: R1.2m Gupta-linked donation: 'We are not captured', says SAICA on Malema claims

"By the time Saica received the donation, it was common cause and public knowledge that Trillian Capital was used as a corruption vehicle by the Guptas' criminal syndicate and had received more than R500m from Eskom," Malema said.

Saica explained that the R1.272m Trillian donation had been made voluntarily and that it formed part of R57m worth of donations from various organisations in the public and private sectors.

"We have noted with great concern the accusations levelled at the institute due to misinformation about a student-funding donation that one of Saica's entities, the Thuthuka Bursary Fund (TBF) received from Trillian Capital (Pty) Ltd," chairperson and acting Saica CEO Fanisa Lamola said in a statement in March.

Lamola added that Saica held a board meeting in July 2017, a month after the release of a damning Trillian report that unearthed controversial business connections involving Eskom and McKinsey. 

"The board unanimously resolved to return the donation to Trillian with immediate effect."

Lamola said measures related to donor vetting have been enhanced.

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