Daniel Friedman
3 minute read
4 Oct 2018
10:24 am

EFF slams Nene’s ‘extremely arrogant’ ‘lies’ at Zondo inquiry

Daniel Friedman

An EFF statement accused the finance minister of being 'unethical' and 'dishonest' in claiming to have responded to the party's correspondence.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene addresses the audience during the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) conference on March 05, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo by Gallo Images

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.

READ MORE: Nene denies all allegations levelled against him by EFF

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:

  1. “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?”
  2. “Did he write a letter to the PIC instructing them to award a certain contract in favour of the Gupta business network?”
  3. “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?”

WATCH: Nene caught lying about Gupta meetings

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.

READ MORE: Why I refused to sign off on nuclear deal despite Zuma pressure – Nene

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.

READ MORE: DA tells Malema to put his money where his mouth is over Nene

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.

READ MORE: Mngxitama calls out ‘flipping’ Malema

The Citizen reported yesterday that Nene denied all allegations levelled against him by the Economic Freedom Fighters regarding his supposed links to the Guptas at the inquiry.

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.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.