Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day
Pravin Gordhan. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Pravin Gordhan. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

The commission of inquiry into state capture takes centre stage this week once again, when public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan gives evidence before deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.

The faction aligned to former president Jacob Zuma, as well as the EFF, have gone into overdrive in an attempt to discredit Gordhan, whose evidence is expected to place Zuma at the centre of the state-capture project.

Gordhan is expected to weigh in on the nuclear deal as well as the attempt to capture the Treasury and a number of state-owned entities.

The commission has launched an investigation into how Gordhan’s submission to the inquiry was leaked ahead of his appearance, which was initially scheduled for last week. According to the submission, Zuma had a “profound interest” in what should have been ordinary transactional matters in key government deals.

Gordhan is expected to appear before Zondo on Monday.

The fallout of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s admission on Friday that his campaign for the ANC presidency had received a R500,000 donation from controversial security company Bosasa is set to continue this week, with opposition parties and Ramaphosa’s opponents in the ANC set to take him on over the payment.

Ramaphosa is hosting German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for a state visit on Tuesday, the first such visit by a German president in 20 years. It follows Ramaphosa’s bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the G20 Africa Summit in Berlin at the end of October.

Ramaphosa will be addressing the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday on eradicating poverty, unemployment and inequality. A multidisciplinary team from parliament is set to hold public hearings in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and the West Rand this week to get the citizens’ perspective on service delivery in their areas. The programme is set to culminate in Ramaphosa’s address before the NCOP on Thursday.

The SA Federation of Trade Unions national executive committee is expected to meet this week. The federation, which launched on an “apolitical” ticket, will discuss the formation of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party by its largest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa). Numsa’s party is set to discuss whether to contest the 2019 elections at its December congress.

On Thursday, Deputy President David Mabuza is expected to answer questions in the National Assembly, after speculation that he was in Russia receiving medical attention.

On Wednesday, parliament’s portfolio committee on public service and administration will  be briefed on the progress related to implementing legislation banning public servants from doing business with the state.

Also on Wednesday, Eskom briefs the portfolio committee on public enterprises on its annual report and financial statements.

The standing committee on finance will hear a response from the Treasury to aspects of the committee’s Financial Sector Transformation Report.

Gupta ally Mzwanele Manyi returns to the state-capture commission on Friday, where he is expected to be cross-examined by evidence leaders. He attempted to poke holes in evidence by government spokesperson Phumla Williams in his first appearance last week.

Manyi has been a staunch supporter of Zuma and a known Gupta associate and defender. In 2017, he bought the Guptas’ media assets, The New Age newspaper and TV channel ANN7.

Williams testified earlier that Manyi had changed the entire bid adjudication committee she used to chair. She said regulations were changed under Manyi so that tenders adjudicated by the committee would have to be finalised by him.

Manyi admitted on Wednesday to changing the bid-adjudication committee, as Williams had testified, but said it was not done with an agenda. He said he did so to undo corruption he had discovered at the Government Communication and Information System, which he described as a “mini-VBS”.