Pravin Gordhan. Picture: REUTERS
Pravin Gordhan. Picture: REUTERS

The realisation that state capture was under way, and not just incidents of corruption, came in 2015, public enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan said on Monday.

Gordhan, who was testifying at the state capture inquiry, said questions were raised in late 2014, but mainly in 2015 they became clearer and then  “connecting the dots came’’.

He said when the boards at state-owned enterprises were being changed in 2010, after then public enterprise minister Barbara Hogan was removed, the extent of the problem still was not clear.

‘‘It looked like an ordinary set of events and then it still wasn't clear until more of these changes were being made, but the picture was still hazy and then the kind of events that took place at treasury in late 2015, the way the nuclear matter was dealt with suggested there was more to it. There’s a wider set of intentions and scheme that underpins it in someway,” he said.

During his testimony at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on November 19 2018, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan relayed incidents that led him and other concerned parties into questioning the actions of the powers that be, and to try and reconstruct when the alleged state capture began.

Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was removed in December 2015, which saw the rand and the economy tank.

Nene was replaced, for four days, by little known back-bencher Des van Rooyen. After an outcry, Van Rooyen was removed and replaced by Gordhan. 

Gordhan said even during the four-day period in which Van Rooyen was finance minister, state capture intentions were there.

Documents prepared around the country's economic outlook were distributed by Van Rooyen's advisers, who were said to be linked to the Gupta family. 

‘‘Clearly the intentions were there,’’ Gordhan said.

He said in 2016 the picture became clearer, and then came the leaked Gupta e-mails which ‘‘made it more clear’’.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za