Phumla Williams, acting CEO of the Government Communication and Information System. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Phumla Williams, acting CEO of the Government Communication and Information System. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Former communications minister Faith Muthambi has hit back at testimony given by acting government spokesperson Phumla Williams to the commission of inquiry investigating state capture, calling the spokesperson a “shameful manipulator” and a “liar”.

She further accused Williams of having an “almost psychotic hatred” for her.

During her appearance before deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, Williams painted an ugly picture of the former minister.

Muthambi has been found to have had ties to the Gupta family, who are at the centre of state capture allegations. The leaked Gupta e-mails showed how Muthambi had shared cabinet information with the family.

Williams was close to tears when she testified at the commission on Monday, recounting how Muthambi had stripped her of her powers and neutralised the capacity of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).

She alleged that Muthambi had mistreated her to such an extent that she had relived the torture she had endured during the struggle against apartheid.

In a statement on Tuesday, Muthambi responded: “I have experienced her [Williams’s] modus operandi over years…. As is always the case with Ms Williams, she has once again taken the opportunity to undermine an important institution to make it all about herself.”

Muthambi was appointed communications minister in 2014 by former president Jacob Zuma and has remained one of his staunchest supporters.

Under her watch, the GCIS, the SABC and digital migration were left in shambles. She was removed from the cabinet in February 2018.

Muthambi said she was seeking legal advice on the evidence given by Williams.

She said Williams’s testimony was compromising the commission. “A very different truth will emerge and her lies and reactionary agenda will be finally exposed for all to see.”

Commission evidence leader Kate Hofmeyr said on Monday the legal team would give notice to Muthambi, which would allow her the opportunity to apply to cross-examine Williams.

With Qaanitah Hunter

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

 

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