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WRAP | Gigaba, Mngoma give testimony at the Zondo Commission

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21 May 16:05

Gigaba's testimony comes to an end, because his legal representative is unable to continue past 16:00. 

Zondo says Gigaba would need to return to the commission at a later date. 

Zondo adjourns the session.

21 May 16:04

"The commission must be fair and not take what Hogan said as the gospel truth. She might be honest or not.  I have never discussed Gama with Mahlangu, he only gave me heads-up about a range of things," says Gigaba.

Gigaba then accuses evidence leader Myburgh that he is "putting words in Mkhwanazi's mouth" after he asked Gigaba whether there would have been political pressure regarding Gama's settlement. 

21 May 15:50

"I was never instructed by Zuma to reinstate Gama or have him as the only candidate the Group CEO position. I didn't know the preferred candidate. I also didn't know Gama's settlement details. I discussed with Siyabonga Mahlangu (Gigaba's former advisor) about the freight-rail and the Gama issue. The matter was of a high public profile, thought it was such important that Zuma wanted to briefed about," says Gigaba.

He adds: "Zuma had many responsibilities and couldn't run to him with everything. We only briefed Zuma when the CEO, board of chairperson of the board has resigned, we didn't want him to read about that in the media"

- Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 15:38

Gigaba: Transnet division CEOs are appointed by the Group CEO and the board. The Transnet GCEO has the power to deploy CEOs of the entity's divisions. The minister can't express an opinion about the appointment of a division CEO. There was no shareholder instruction for Gama to be brought back. Some board members wanted Gama reinstated. There was no instruction given that Gama must be reinstated.

Gigaba: Mkhwanazi indicated I only discussed the matter with him once. As a shareholder, I didn't put any pressure to any direction (to convince the board to reinstate Gama). It was an internal matter. I didn't know if other white managers were ill-treated. I only learnt later about that and found out that the said manager was not white.

Gigaba: The issue of Transnet freight-rail was unknown to me. I didn't know about disciplinary actions at Transnet. The department has never briefed me if the disciplinary hearings were racially biased or unfair.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 15:22

Gigaba: "The Cabinet decision was taken on the 8th of December 2010. Now, which means that the submission to Cabinet would have happened two weeks prior the 8th, which would have been around the 24th of November. So the meeting would have taken place just prior to my submission of his name." 

Gigaba: "Prior to 24 November, because that's when I would have approached Cabinet with a request for him to be appointed on the board and be made chairperson."

Gigaba: "Now, there are different ways in which different ministries deal with these issues of appointments. Other ministries recommend a board and leave it to the board to appoint the chairperson. Others, like DPE, recommend a board and nominate the chairperson for the board, so that Cabinet has full sight of what's going to transpire at the level of the leadership of the company."

Gigaba: "So, that's the standard practice I found when I became minister of public enterprises. And this being the first board, and the issues that were in the public domain, I felt it was necessary to just meet Mr Mkhwanazi, apprise him of our intention to recommend his appointment as chairperson of the board..."

21 May 15:20

Gigaba: The board of Transnet was faced with a lot of challenges. I told them they needed to have stability at executive level and remove uncertainties. Many trains were derailing, poor performance at the ports and complaints by service providers were among some of the complaints about the performance of Transnet. There are different ways in which various ministries deal with appointments of board members. I approached (former Transnet board member) Mafika Mkhwanazi about his appointment to the board.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 15:06

Gigaba: When I addressed the new board of Transnet, I raised six strategic issues. My discussions with Gama derived from media reports at the time. ANC allies were concerned about them. I had no knowledge of condemnations and deviations at Transnet. If I had raised them, it would have been based on media reports at the time, including the new chairperson of the board coming under pressure.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 14:56

Gigaba has denied earlier evidence by witnesses – former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan among them – that there was an instruction from Jacob Zuma to appoint his favourite candidate to lead Transnet. He said eventually, Siyabonga Gama became Group CEO of Transnet after Brian Molefe vacated the position and headed to Eskom.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 14:37

Gigaba: I don't know where they (Guptas) are. I can't give their version on their behalf. I can only give my version. I am on the good books of the commission because of having responded to all the questions. Knowing someone and presuming they are doing something wrong does not make you an accomplice.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 14:31

Gigaba: I was not aware of Essa's involvement in the process, including the movement of a company to Durban, and apparent illicit transactions. I don't think they were happening in broad daylight. Had it been brought to my attention, I would have taken steps.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 14:27

Gigaba: If it is true about the "locomotive heist" it may shock me. The decision to procure the locomotives had been taken before my arrival. I raised concerns about the delays. In my opinion, they would have had board consequences. I was not privy to Essa's involvement in the procurement of the locomotives. My understanding was that it was the Prasa board that was involved in the procurement.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 14:24

Gigaba takes a swipe at Mngoma's earlier testimony, on how many times he had visited the Gupta compound. Zondo tells him that she claimed he had been there many times, "could not have been less than 20 times".

Gigaba: "Mr Chairman, I'm a bit conflicted here, let me declare. Because I would want an opportunity, ample opportunity to respond comprehensively to Ms Mngoma's creative imagination."

Gigaba: "I want to deal with what she testified here. The extensive lies, the inaccuracies, and the fabrications. But it suffices for now to say, it was not more than 20 times. It was not more than 20 times, as she claims, because it would beggar the question, how did she arrive at that calculation, even that the instances she refers to, at which she claims she was present, do not even amount to more than two or three times."

Gigaba: "That being the case, if she was not there over the next say, 16 to 17 times, then how does she know? She was not there."

21 May 14:22

Gigaba: I can’t recount how many times I have been to their home. Me knowing them had no impact in my government work. Around 2014, I scaled down my interaction with them, because I was very busy. The election campaign had taken a toll on me. I have never had private meetings with Salim Essa.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 14:15

Gigaba: "The Gupta brothers introduced me to their mother who had arrived into the country. I knew all the Gupta brothers. I am not a businessman and have never been one. I only dealt with them socially. I live a modest life. My departure from government in 2018 was unexpected even for myself. I can't recount how many times I have been to their home."

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 14:12

"We attended a social luncheon with other people. I continued interacting with them in different forms. I either attended New Age breakfast events, I accompanied the president (Jacob Zuma), met them at state dinners where they were invited. I met them on different occasions at separate events. As minister of public enterprises, I continued interacting with them. I visited their residence," Gigaba said

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 14:02

Proceedings resume after the adjournment, with Gigaba picking up his testimony from where he left off, on how he knew the Guptas.

21 May 13:09

Zondo calls for the lunch adjournment. Back at 14:00.

21 May 13:09

Myburgh asks Gigaba about his dealings with the Guptas.

Gigaba: "I did not have any dealings or business with them. I knew them because I used to attend their social and cultural events."

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 13:07

Myburgh asks Gigaba when he first met members of the Gupta family.

Gigaba: "I do not have a specific recollection, chairperson, but I was still president of the ANC Youth League. It would have been different occasions. It was not direct meetings and interactions with them because back then, I think as Mr Gwede Mantashe indicated when he was here, they were quite involved in the ANC, helping the ANC to fund-raise, so they were well known among the leadership of the ANC. 

Gigaba: "I think from records, one of them had served in the international investment council, during president Mbeki's time, and I don't know whether it's investment council, or the IT one, and they were quite close with the leadership of the ANC, so that's when I first met them."

Gigaba says the first time he met them was around the early 2000s.

21 May 13:00

Zondo has admitted an affidavit prepared by Gigaba as an exhibit. The affidavit is related to Transnet. Gigaba has detailed echelon positions he held in government from 2004, when he was the deputy minister of Home Affairs. Gigaba has had four stints at Home Affairs – twice being the deputy minister and two times again as minister of that portfolio.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 12:51

Malusi Gigaba has now taken the stand. His evidence will be led by advocate Myburgh.

21 May 12:48

ICYMI - WATCH: 

21 May 12:46

Zondo calls for a brief adjournment for Malusi Gigaba's counsel, as well as the commission's legal team, to prepare for his testimony. Back in 10 minutes.

21 May 12:45

Zondo thanks Mngoma for appearing once more before the commission. 

Zondo: "Ms Mngoma, thank you very much for availing yourself. We are done for today, and you know what has been discussed in terms of what is still to come. But thank you very much for availing yourself once again. You are now excused."

Zondo also excuses Mngoma's legal team from the rest of today's proceedings.

21 May 12:41

Norma has concluded her evidence-in-chief. She is awaiting a date to be recalled to answer questions from Gigaba.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 12:40

Solomons said they have not seen her supplementary affidavit. He said the document didn't form part of the documents that were initially given to them.

"We are a bit ill-prepared on her latest affidavit. My client is also anxious to complete his testimony, which we were hoping it would be done today. We waited for an entire week," Solomons said.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 12:38

Gigaba's lawyer, advocate Richard Solomons, said he would be available until 16:00 to lead the former Home Affairs and finance minister.

"If we are afforded to cross-examine Norma, it would be after she had given evidence (in-chief). We were taken by surprise by her reappearance at the commission. We were given a supplementary clarifying affidavit on Wednesday. I was advised by [advocate Anton] Myburgh that she would continue on Thursday," said Solomons.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 12:36

Gigaba's cross-examination would take place before the end of May. It could either be on a Saturday or early morning during the week. Zondo has assured that if certain circumstances require Norma to testify via Zoom, her request to do so would be accommodated.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 12:34

Zondo has granted Gigaba leave to cross-examine his estranged wife and will determine when it would start. Norma has shared explosive details linking her husband to the Gupta family, including her arrest by the Hawks, and her sisters-in-law being afforded job opportunities by those linked to the Gupta family.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 12:31

Zondo reads his decision: "I have read the application that was brought by Mr Malusi Knowledge Nkanyezi Gigaba. I previously dismissed the application insofar as it related to certain relief, but left or deferred the application so far as it related to leave to cross-examine Ms Mngoma."

Zondo: "I've considered the application and have concluded that I will grant Mr Gigaba leave to cross-examine Ms Mngoma. I therefore grant the following order. Mr Malusi Knowledge Nkanyezi Gigaba, is hereby granted leave to cross-examine Ms Mngoma. That is one. Two, I will determine the duration of the cross-examination on the occasion of the cross-examination, or shortly before the cross-examination starts. That's the order."

21 May 12:22

Zondo asked Norma if she had a problem being cross-examined on Friday. She replied that from what had happened on Thursday, she didn't adequately sleep and couldn't stay for long at the commission. Zondo said he has Gigaba's application to cross-examine his estranged wife. Zondo is yet to decide if he will accept Gigaba's application.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 12:19

Myburgh wraps up his questions, after clarifying a few issues he was unsure of in Mngoma's affidavit. He is satisfied that Mngoma has answered his queries, and he informs Zondo that he is done leading her evidence.

There is now a discussion around the logistics of Gigaba appearing before the commission and whether or not Mngoma should wait.

Mngoma says she would not be comfortable waiting around, especially after what happened yesterday, when her testimony was cut short due to "security reasons".

21 May 12:16

Norma said one of Gigaba's sisters, Gugu Gigaba, was employed at Transnet. In one of the meetings with the commission officials, she told them that her husband asked former Transnet boss Siyabonga Gama to assist Gugu in finding employment at the state-owned company. She didn't know which role or in what capacity she was employed at Transnet, and what position she occupies at the state-owned entity.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 12:06

Back again, Myburgh continues.

21 May 12:00

And after a brief back and forth between Myburgh, Zondo and Mngoma's legal counsel, Zondo calls for a further five-minute adjournment, so that Mngoma can finish her tea/coffee that she was drinking from a cup while sitting in the stand.

21 May 11:31

Proceedings adjourn for the short morning break. Back at 11:45.

21 May 11:31

Norma said she told investigators that the commission officials deliberately leaked her affidavit to the Sunday Times. When City Press called her, she was asked where her affidavit was. At the time, they had not agreed with her legal team if they would appear before Zondo or not.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 11:28

Regarding her own security, Norma thought the commission would explain which option they were offering her. She said there was no communication between her and the commission over her security. After she appeared before Deputy Chief Justice Zondo, she was asked if she needed security and she declined, because she had already appeared.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 11:24

Norma said the commission assured her that it would provide her with security, and it didn't happen. On 20 March, a meeting was held with the head of security, and advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi was there. During the meeting, they explained security options to Norma and to choose either relocating to a place of safety or being provided with a bodyguard.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 11:17

Mngoma: "I called my senior counsel about Sunday Times having an entire copy of my entire affidavit. I was shocked because when we were preparing for my testimony, I was told that my affidavit was confidential. I called [advocate Thembeka] Ngcukaitobi, who was upset about that."

Mngoma: "I expressed my unhappiness because I was promised that it would be treated confidential. I felt that my trust with the commission was broken. My affidavit was leaked to the media. Advocate Paul Pretorius said every copy had a mark and they would know who leaked it."

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 11:07

Norma has rubbished Gigaba's acquaintance's claims of visiting the Gupta compound or holding meetings with the family. She said there were times where those who were close to Gigaba at the time, would visit the compound with or without Gigaba, including assisting one of her sisters-in-law to be removed from the credit bureau.

 - Ntwaagae Seleka

21 May 11:06

Myburgh earlier told Mngoma that a "Mr Masomi", someone she mentioned in her affidavit, denied meeting with Ajay Gupta, in his own affidavit. "The only person I held meetings with, was Mr Tony, or Atul, Gupta. I know how Mr Ajay Gupta looks like, because his picture has been all over the media. Otherwise I wouldn't know how he looks like."

Mngoma: "I don't care that he was meeting whoever it is, Atul or whoever, but he was there. So, I never said he was going there to meet Ajay - what I said, he was there. So whoever he was meeting, that's up to him, but he was there, at the Guptas' house."

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