Treasury to look at how much the Guptas made from the state
The Zondo commission wants to know what revenue Gupta-related entities received annually from 2013 to 2015, from government departments as well as state-owned enterprises
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo has asked the National Treasury to determine how much revenue Gupta-related entities obtained annually from the state.
Zondo, who is the the chair of the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, told Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane that this was one of the issues he would like to have addressed.
Mogajane took the stand to give evidence on Friday afternoon, which mostly touched on the week and days after former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was removed from office by former president Jacob Zuma and replaced by then little known ANC backbencher Des van Rooyen.
Mogajane told the commission he had asked, on Thursday, that the Treasury, through its chief procurement office and the financial management office, model the cost and revenue that could have accrued to the Gupta empire.
Zondo told Mogajane that the commission wants to know what revenue was obtained by Gupta-related entities annually from 2013 to 2015, from government departments as well as state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Mogajane said it would be difficult to get the data from SOEs and municipalities, but that it was not impossible.
Speaking about Nene's removal, Mogajane said there were serious adverse consequences that flowed from his axing. Among them were the catastrophic fall of the rand at the time; the loss of about 148,000 jobs; the reduction of R378bn in JSE market capitalisation; and the cost of at least 1.1% of GDP by the end of 2017.
Mogajane described the week leading up to Nene’s removal and its aftermath as “painful”, to such an extent that he said he had “switched himself off from what was happening” on the Thursday after Van Rooyen’s appointment.
Mogajane described the first meeting Van Rooyen held with then director-general Lungisa Fuzile, and the deputy director-generals. His new advisors, who walked into the Treasury with Van Rooyen, Mohamed Bobat and Ian Whitley were at the meeting.
Mogajane described how Van Rooyen struggled to remember Bobat’s name, introduced him as his chief of staff, to which Bobat said he was an advisor and not the chief of staff, which was the post set out for Whitley.
He described how walking in with advisors was unlike how other ministers, such as former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and current finance minister Tito Mboweni had done it.
Mogajane also said Nene should not have been fired: “There wouldn't have been any pain.”