News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
6 Nov 2019
1:54 pm

Maseko tells Zondo commission transition from GCIS to DPSA was not smooth

Makhosandile Zulu

The former GCIS boss says once it was announced that he would be transferred, he received a call from Ajay Gupta which he ignored.

Former government spokesperson Themba Maseko before testifying at the commission of inquiry into state capture, 29 August 2018. Picture: ANA

Former Government Communications Information Systems (GCIS) director-general (DG) Themba Maseko on Wednesday told the commission of inquiry into state capture about his time at the department of public service and administration (DPSA) following his transfer from GCIS.

Maseko previously told the commission that former president Jacob Zuma had instructed the former minister in the presidency, the late Collins Chabane, to redeploy him, which the former president denied when he testified at the state capture inquiry.

Maseko was replaced by Mzwanele Manyi in 2011 after he was transferred from GCIS to DPSA for refusing to do the bidding of the Guptas.

However, on Wednesday Maseko told the commission that his stay at DPSA lasted for five months from February 2011 to July that year.

He told the commission that on June 15, 2011, he had a meeting with the minister of the DPSA at the time, Richard Baloyi, to discuss his exit from the department because he had come to the conclusion that things were not working out, which Baloyi agreed to as well.

Evidence leader at the commission Kate Hofmeyr said Baloyi’s affidavit at the commission states that the former minister had discussed the transfer with Maseko and obtained his consent before the matter transpired.

However, Maseko responded by saying “what Mr Baloyi says is not correct”.

Maseko said after Chabane announced on February 2, 2011, at a cabinet meeting that he would be transferred from GCIS to DPSA, he contacted Baloyi to arrange a meeting and that the former minister had been shocked by the news because he had allegedly not been consulted on the transfer. The commission heard that Baloyi was not present at the said cabinet meeting.

ALSO READ: Zuma lied, Maseko tells state capture commission

However, in his affidavit, Baloyi said he had had a discussion with Chabane before the transfer, a matter which Maseko said he could not confirm.

Maseko told the commission that he only knew that he would be transferred to DPSA when Chabane made the announcement at the end of the cabinet meeting. He explained that the late minister had made an undertaking to make a plan that would ensure that he, Maseko, would not be thrown “into the streets” once removed from GCIS.

In his affidavit, Baloyi also alleges that during the discussion ahead of the transfer, Maseko had indicated to the former minister that he intended to leave the public service in the near future.

“My submission as far as Mr Baloyi’s affidavit is concerned, what he says in the affidavit is not accurate,” Maseko said, adding that the minister could be confusing the meeting they had to discuss his exit and that this could be attributed to a lapse in time.

Maseko said there was no dispute between him and Baloyi, however, their working relationship did work well.

He told the commission that his transition from GCIS to DPSA was not smooth and felt that the former minister had not been welcoming because he had not been consulted about the transfer and Maseko and been imposed on his department.

Maseko told the commission that during his time at DPSA, most of the time he was not invited to meetings and that certain decisions were taken without his knowledge, which was a concern for him because he was the accounting officer.

He said there was no formal contract he signed when he became DG of DPSA.

Maseko also told the commission that following the cabinet meeting where his transfer was announced, he received a call from Ajay Gupta, which he ignored due to the state of mind he was in.

Maseko has concluded his testimony and Manyi is expected to take the witness stand after the lunch adjournment.

ALSO READ: Mzwanele Manyi to testify at Zondo commission

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