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By Getrude Makhafola

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Deputy minister Makwetla hits out at Zondo report: ‘They will find nothing on me’

Makwetla is adamant that he is innocent and that the Zondo report got it wrong on him.

Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thabang Makwetla has dared law enforcement authorities to investigate him over home security upgrades worth R300 000, saying he is innocent.

The third volume of the State Capture Commission of Inquiry report recommended that Makwetla be investigated for possible corruption for the security upgrades courtesy of Bosasa when he was deputy minister of correctional services.

Commission chairperson Chief Justice Raymond Zondo found that Makwetla breached his constitutional, legislative and ethical duties.

ALSO READ: Bosasa’s ‘corrupt business model’ takes centre stage in Part 3 of State Capture report

Makwetla said he was innocent and that the commission got it all wrong.

“I am here to call for an immediate investigation, which the report says it must be done…investigate and charge me.

“But I can tell you now, there is nothing they are going to find. They can’t charge me over nothing…I give them the right to investigate me until I die, they won’t find anything because this is a red herring.”

According to him, there was no conflict of interest in his interaction with the late Bosasa boss Gavin Watson.

He said that if there was an attempt to get favours from the correctional services department through him was “a different matter,” he said at a briefing on Friday.

“I am not contesting that, conflict of interest can be investigated on its own. But I told the commission about the steps that I took in reporting this to the president. The commission has that affidavit, there is no conflict of interest because I firmly rejected the offer [from Watson].”

He said added that he felt prejudiced and aggrieved by the way the commission handled his evidence.

“My belief is that if they felt something untoward happened as a result of Gavin having approached me as a deputy minister, they should have investigated.

Asked whether he would take the report on review, Makwetla said that was not important for him at this stage.

‘A host of contradictions’

“What is important is for South Africans to know what happened, which has not been investigated. There was a whole host of contradictions in processing the information before the commission, but that is not the issue here. Reviewing their work will not clear me.”

Regarding his party’s step aside rule, the deputy minister said he would do so as required by the ANC if he was found guilty of corruption.

Despite criticising the commission’s work, Makwetla said he has confidence in the newly appointed Zondo as the country’s new chief justice. President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Zondo on Thursday to replace retired former head of the judiciary, Mogoeng Mogoeng.

Zondo had a “brilliant legal mind” said Makwetla.

“In my understanding, the work of the commission is not the work of the commission’s chairperson. The commission was assigned to investigate around a whole lot of allegations.

The composite report of the commission is the presentation from those who led evidence and those who investigated. It is not the product of the chairperson. He was presiding over the work of several judicial experts and investigators.”

NOW READ: Mantashe to take Zondo’s report on judicial review

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