Charles Cilliers
2 minute read
14 Jan 2019
9:52 am

BLF to testify against Nene and Gordhan at state capture commission

Charles Cilliers

Deputy president of Black First Land First (BLF) Zanele Lwana has been invited to testify at the inquiry into state capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

BLF members, from left to right: Deputy president Zanele Lwana, president Andile Mngxitama and Secretary General Siphesihle Jele. Picture: Twitter.

In a letter sent to the party on Friday, the provisional date on which Lwana will give evidence is Tuesday, 12 February, with meetings with the commission’s evidence leaders already taking place this week. The BLF has already deposed to affidavits on the alleged misconduct of former minister Nhlanhla Nene and Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The BLF has long been critical of the state capture commission for what it says is a primary focus on the Gupta family and its connection to former president Jacob Zuma. They have, for years, alleged that the now public enterprises minister, Gordhan, is corrupt and “captured” by what they term “white monopoly capital”, a blanket term for white-dominated business in South Africa.

The party has told the commission there has been state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector that is not connected to the Guptas, whom the party and its leader have defended staunchly for years.

The EFF also targeted Gordhan last year, alleging they had evidence of him having an offshore bank account in Canada – which has already largely been discredited upon investigation – and of using his position to favour his daughter Anisha’s business interests, among other things. Gordhan, who has already testified at the commission, denied any impropriety.

To a lesser extent, the BLF has also criticised now former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, who stepped down in the wake of revelations at the same commission last year that he had had numerous formerly undisclosed meetings with the Gupta family.

Asked for comment on whether he would be testifying at the commission, BLF president Andile Mngxitama said Lwana would deal with the BLF’s submissions on Nene and Gordhan, as Mngxitama would be “going for the Oppenheimers”.

The BLF insists that rich apartheid-era business families such as the Oppenheimers and the Ruperts should also be investigated for “capture” of the state, which they contend continued well into democracy.

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