You might not believe this but it’s been officially confirmed that President Zuma will appear one more time before out-going Public Protector Thuli Madonsela for interrogation on the alleged state capture.
Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga confirmed that the crucial meeting will take place this week, most likely on Thursday.
The long-awaited interrogation is the final leg of Madonsela’s investigation into “state capture” and allegations that Zuma allowed the Gupta family to influence his appointment of cabinet ministers and heads of state-owned entities.
The long-running probe kicked off in March this year after Madonsela received complaints from the Catholic Dominican Order and the DA on why “non-state actors” influenced the dismissal and appointment of ministers and implement undue influence on government processes for the benefit of [a private] company.
“We will hear his version of events and he may have information for us that we will need to compare with our own findings,” Madonsela said in an interview on Monday.
The call for an interrogation with the president grew stronger after reports emerged that Deputy Finance Minister Jonas lied about the Guptas offering him a top position in government.
Jonas’ assertions were flawed in a letter written to the office of the Public Protector by Fana Hlongwane. In the said letter, he categorically stated that Jonas never had any discussion with the influential family.
“I categorically deny that there was ever a discussion or offer, by anybody of any governmental position to Deputy Finance Minister Jonas,” Hlongwane wrote.
In reply, the public protector said she would also summon Hlongwane, promising to subpoena him, should he fail to attend the meeting.
“It seems to me that he will have to be subpoenaed because he has something to say, he’s given his version of events to the public. His version had not been tested through cross-examination, which is why he had to come before the public protector,” Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said.
With a month ahead to clear up her desk as South Africa’s Public Protector, it is glaring that Thuli is bent on having investigations into the alleged state capture concluded before leaving office next week.
On Tuesday, she grilled Ajay Gupta and also promised to rope his brothers to the interrogation chair.