#StateCapture: Treasury official to take the stand

Judge Zondo at the state capture inquiry commission
Judge Zondo at the state capture inquiry commission
Image: Alon Skuy

Acting chief procurement officer Willie Mathebula is expected to appear before the Zondo commission of inquiry as the first witness to give evidence on Tuesday.

The commission said Mathebula‚ who has been at Treasury for the last 15 years‚ will give details about government’s procurement systems.

He is also expected to be asked questions regarding National Treasury reports on state-owned entities.

In September 2017‚ Mathebula was appointed acting chief procurement officer after Schalk Human‚ who was also acting at the time‚ resigned.

He was made to apologise in parliament last year when MPs criticised him for not having any direct information on Treasury’s damning report on Eskom’s coal contracts with the Gupta-owned Tegeta.

He was grilled by ANC and opposition MPs alike for what was called a substandard presentation.

The DA contested his appointment as acting chief procurement officer when he was given the post‚ saying it was an effort to dismantle that office.

Mathebula joined Treasury in 2003 and was transferred to the office of the chief procurement officer when it was formed in 2013. At the time he was the chief director in charge of transversal contracts.

Mathebula is said to have had run-ins with former chief procurement officer Kenneth Brown over his performance in his job.

An insider said when Treasury was conducting a series of investigations into the Gupta family’s transactions and their influence in state-owned entities‚ Mathebula was not present

“He was seconded to the Independent Development Trust and only came back to the office at the end of 2016‚” the insider noted.

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