The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have released a statement in which they declare that they are “shocked” by what they call finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s “dishonest testimony” at the commission of inquiry into state capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Specifically, the party says that while Nene asserts at the inquiry that he had responded to EFF correspondence addressing their allegations of him being involved in state capture as well as the interference at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), this is a lie.
According to the statement, the EFF wrote a letter to Nene on May 22 that he claimed he responded to at the inquiry. They claim he did not in fact respond.
The party further alleges that they approached the standing committee on finance, who ruled that Nene had ten working days to respond which he apparently did not do. They also say they sent him a text message which he ignored. In the statement, they label the minister “extremely arrogant” for his alleged refusal to respond.
The EFF correspondence to Nene included the following questions to the minister according to the statement:
- “Did [Nene] meet any member of the Gupta family during his terms as deputy minister of finance and discuss business dealings, particularly the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) funding with any member of the Gupta family?”
- “Did he write a letter to the PIC instructing them to award a certain contract in favour of the Gupta business network?”
- “Did members of the Gupta family ever contact him as the minister of finance and, if so, what were the details of the engagement and did it relate to following up on a commitment he made them as deputy minister of finance?”
The statement also addresses the inconsistencies between the testimony given by Nene at the inquiry on Wednesday and a clip that has been widely circulated and shown repeatedly on eNCA.
The Citizen reported yesterday that in the clip, the minister claims that while he was deputy finance minister or finance minister, he only ever saw the Guptas at public gatherings, and has never been invited to any “engagements” with the Indian-born businessmen widely believed to have played a role in capturing the South African state.
This directly contradicts his evidence at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday, where he told the inquiry’s chairperson Justice Raymond Zondo that he had met with the family four times between 2010 and 2013, while he was indeed deputy minister of finance.
The EFF has claimed that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene worked closely with the controversial Gupta family and negotiated a number of business dealings with them.
The party’s leader Julius Malema has claimed he “warned” the SA public about Nene.
However, many have pointed out that the EFF has shown public support for Nene as recently as February this year, and voices including Black First, Land First leader Andile Mngxitama have accused him of “flipping” on the issue.
We warned about Nhlanhla Nene, and the mob attacked us.
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) September 30, 2018
Nevertheless, we welcome changes in finance; the appointment of Nhlanhla Nene is a reaffirmation of confidence in black and African leadership. #CabinetReshuffle
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) February 26, 2018
READ MORE: Mngxitama calls out ‘flipping’ Malema
EFF Statement On Minister Nhlanhla Nene's Dishonest Testimony At The State Of Capture Commission Of Inquiry pic.twitter.com/mGwXHa1FxZ
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) October 3, 2018
But the party does not seem to want to let up in its campaign against the minister anytime soon, characterising him in the statement as someone who “cannot be trusted.”
“He has already abdicated his responsibilities to others because he knows he is too compromised to be a minister,” the statement concluded.