ANC sends the Zondo commission two, unsigned, statements
The ANC has sent two statements to the state capture inquiry in relation to evidence given by the country’s four big banks and former public enterprise minister Barbara Hogan.
Evidence leader advocate Phillip Mokoena on Tuesday told commission chair, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, that the two statements were dated November 11, but were unsigned.
Former ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe’s name was at the bottom of the statements.
“I only scanned through the two statements, they appear to be a response to Ms Hogan’s evidence and the other response to testimony by the banks.… I have not as yet conversed that statement with Ms Hogan and furthermore not conversed both statements with the legal team of commission,” Mokoena said.
In October, the ANC said it would make a submission to the state capture inquiry on issues raised by the banks, but insisted that the party was not on trial.
In September, the banks — Standard Bank, Absa, First National Bank (FNB) and Nedbank — testified at the commission about what had transpired when they had taken the decision to close the accounts of the controversial Gupta family.
Following these decisions, which the banks said were taken separately, they had been called to meetings at the party’s Luthuli House headquarters by then secretary-general Mantashe, his deputy, Jessie Duarte, and head of the party’s economic transformation subcommittee, Enoch Godongwana.
FNB was the only bank not to attend a meeting with the ANC officials.
On Monday, Hogan also told the commission how the ANC and its alliance partners tried to put pressure on her to appoint Siyabonga Gama as the group CEO for Transnet and how she was called to Luthuli House to explain herself to the secretary general and his deputy, after she had made comments regarding South African Airways (SAA).
Hogan said that during an interview with a journalist she said that SAA would have to start looking at an equity partner if it was to survive. This was at a time when the ANC had vetoed the privatisation of state-owned entities.
“My concern at that stage was if I was seen to be going outside government policy, it should have been the president who summoned me, not the party,’’ she said in relation to the SAA comment.
Zondo asked Mokoena on Tuesday to ensure that the ANC statements were signed.
The commission also needed to find out of the ANC was going to put in a request to cross-examine Hogan, or whether it was submitting its own version of events, which would be put to the former minister to respond to.
‘‘In due course, you will get to know,’’ he said to Mokoena.
Mokoena said he would revert back once the commission’s legal team had “interrogated all the issues”.
Zondo also announced on Tuesday that he had granted an application, brought by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan to shift his evidence from November 15 to November 19.