Former Cabinet minister Trevor Manuel will take the stand at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Thursday where his evidence will deal with former sports and recreation minister Fikile Mbalula’s encounter with the controversial Gupta brothers.
In an open letter published by Daily Maverick in 2017, former finance minister Trevor Manuel said Mbalula had made a tearful confession to the ANC’s national executive committee NEC in 2011 about his interaction with Atul Gupta.
Mbalula, however, later told Business Day that it was not Atul, but Ajay, who congratulated him on his appointment as sports minister.
Evidence leader, Advocte Leah Gcabashe at the commission said the relevance of Manuel’s testimony on Thursday regards terms 1.1 and 1.3 of the inquiry’s terms of reference.
The term of reference 1.1 reads: “… to what extent and by whom attempts were made through any form of inducement or for any gain of whatsoever nature to influence members of the national executive (including deputy ministers”, office bearers and/or functionaries employed by or office bearers of any state institution or organ of state or directors of the boards of SOEs).”
The term of reference 1.3 reads: “[W]hether the appointment of any member of the national executive, functionary and/or office bearer was disclosed to the Gupta family or any other unauthorised person before such appointments were formally made and/or announced.”
Mbalula has publicly stated that he was willing to appear before the commission to give his side of the story about his encounter with the controversial Gupta brothers.
Gcabashe says the statement of Manuel implicates Fikile Mbalula, Atul Gupta and Ajay Gupta. She noted that Atul Gupta has not responded to notice while Ajay has responded. Mbalula was served his notice by email, he has not acknowledged receipt or responded#StateCaptureInquiry
— State Capture Commission (@StateCaptureCom) February 28, 2019
Watch the proceedings live: