Former finance minister Des van Rooyen’s supposed adviser Mohamed Bobat seemed to have unprecedented authority and had to be warned that things would be done “by the book”. This was according to former National Treasury chief director of communications, Phumza Macanda, who was testifying at the state capture inquiry on Monday.

Macanda was telling the commission about the time that Nhlanhla Nene was axed as finance minister in December 2015 and replaced by little-known ANC backbencher Van Rooyen. Van Rooyen had arrived at the Treasury with two advisers — Bobat and Ian Whitley. Macanda said she met Bobat on the day of Van Rooyen’s swearing in at the Union Buildings. She described him as hostile and aggressive. Macanda was at the Union Buildings so that she could consult with Van Rooyen regarding a media statement. She said Bobat asked her what her job was, and when she explained, he told her that no media statements were to be issued without his approval. “He was a little aggres...

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