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State Capture report: Part 4

Zondo: 'I shudder to think what would have happened if Zuma was not forced to remove Des van Rooyen'

'Gordhan and Nene put up huge fight to resist capture of National Treasury'

Former Cogta and finance minister Des van Rooyen at the commission of inquiry into state capture.
Former Cogta and finance minister Des van Rooyen at the commission of inquiry into state capture.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The National Treasury under the leadership of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and later Nhlanhla Nene put up great resistance to several attempts by former president Jacob Zuma and former SAA board chair Dudu Myeni to commit wrongdoing.

This is according to state capture inquiry chair chief justice Raymond Zondo, who officially handed over part 4 of the commission’s report to the presidency and released it to the public on Friday.

“The stance taken by minister Gordhan and minister Nene during their respective terms of office as ministers of finance in terms of which they were not prepared to approve wrong or unlawful projects or transactions did not endear them to President Zuma and some of their colleagues in the cabinet,” the Zondo report states.

“They both testified that some of their colleagues in the cabinet became hostile to them and the National Treasury.

“The reason for that hostility by members of the cabinet towards the National Treasury may have been because they identified themselves with President Zuma’s wishes with regards to those transactions or projects because their departments also had transitions or projects that they wanted the National Treasury to approve which it did not approve.”

He said some of the transactions which Gordhan and Nene are said to have resisted to wrongdoing include:

  • the nuclear deal;
  • the airbus transaction at SAA;
  • the Khartoum route for SAA; and
  • the Denel Asia venture.

Zondo highlighted several attempts at capturing the National Treasury, including: 

  • the offer of the position of minister of finance and money to deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas in return for him working with the Guptas;
  • the dismissal of minister Nene as minister of finance in December 2015;
  • the appointment of Douglas "Des" Van Rooyen alongside advisors linked to the Guptas or their associates; and
  • the harassment of Gordhan by the Hawks during his second term as finance minister and subsequently his dismissal and replacement by Malusi Gigaba.

"It is almost a miracle that the National Treasury was saved from the tentacles of the Guptas.

"I shudder to think what would have happened to this country if President Zuma was not forced to move Mr Des Van Rooyen and his advisors out of the National Treasury and if Mr Van Rooyen and his advisors had been allowed to continue in the National Treasury."



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