State Capture: Zuma took ‘first steps’ to capture Transnet – Zondo

State Capture: Zuma took ‘first steps’ to capture Transnet – Zondo

As many would have anticipated, the second installment of the State Capture report reveals yet again, the extent of former president Jacob Zuma’s thievery, implicating him in attempts to capture Transnet.

The Presidency’s Director-General Phindile Baleni was handed the report by the Commission’s secretary, Prof Itumeleng Mosala at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday, 1 February 2022. The report, which has 646 pages, focuses on corruption at Denel and Transnet, which occurred during Zuma’s tenure.

Here’s some background: Former Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan testified before the Commission that in 2009, Zuma had summoned her to discuss the vacancy for Transnet Group CEO. At the time, Maria Ramos was set to vacate the post and someone to take over the reins was needed.

According to Hogan, Zuma insisted on Siyabonga Gama being appointed, despite the fact that he was facing disciplinary charges of procurement irregularities. She claimed that the then Transnet board had recommended that Sipho Maseko (former Telkom CEO) be appointed to the post, but Zuma insisted on Gama.

ACJ Zondo slams Jacob Zuma on Transnet interference

While both Jacob Zuma and Siyabonga have disputed Hogan’s claims, the State Capture Commission’s Chairperson Raymond Zondo is not buying it. Zondo has singled out the president as having interfered in the appointment process at Transnet to deliberately capture the freight agency.

Zondo found that Gama was indeed Zuma’s preferred candidate for the post

“The description of Mr Gama as ‘the preferred internal candidate’ begs the question of whose preferred candidate he was? It seems probable that this description meant that Mr Gama was President Zuma’s preferred candidate. That is the most logical meaning of that phrase in the second sentence. It thus corroborates Ms Hogan’s version that President Zuma wanted Mr Gama to be appointed as the GCEO of Transnet. It is inconsistent with Mr Zuma’s version that he had no preferred candidate and that he did not tell Ms Hogan that he wanted Mr Gama for that position and nobody else”

former president Jacob Zuma

“President Zuma’s refusal to appoint Mr Maseko as GCEO of Transnet and his insistence on appointing Mr Gama — even as Mr Gama was facing investigations into allegations of serious acts of misconduct, including allegations of misconduct relating to tenders — reflects the first steps taken by President Zuma towards the capture of Transnet by the Guptas with President Zuma’s assistance.”

former president Jacob Zuma

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