Ngoako Ramatlhodi's testimony before the State Capture Inquiry left South Africans shocked at the cheek of the Gupta family and former president Jacob Zuma's loyalty to them. Ramatlhodi testified that Zuma refused to sever ties with the family, even after being warned about it.
Former Mineral Resources Minister and ANC member, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, testified at the State Capture Inquiry Commission and his testimony is considered one of the most damning against Jacob Zuma thus far.
He gave South Africans an inside look at how the Guptas operated and how Zuma allowed it.
Ramatlhodi also said that countless warnings to Zuma about his relations with the family was simply ignored, as reported by TimesLIVE.
Briefly.co.za gathered all the relevant information and compiled a brief list and discussion of Ramatlhodi's accusations.
1. Duduzane Zuma tried to hook up the minister and the Guptas
Ramatlhodi says the former president's son repeatedly tried to arrange meetings between him and Ajay Gupta. However, he never gave in and never wanted to meet with the Guptas. Eventually, Duduzane made up a story to lure the then-minister to a meeting.
Duduzane told Ramatlhodi about rumours of him talking bad about the Guptas, as well as Duduzane himself. Ramatlhodi said he believed it was a way to try and persuade him to meet with Ajay.
I then said to him: 'You know Duduzane, you're as good as my son. Why would I run around badmouthing you when you are committing crime? I won't even tell your father, I will just summon you and ask you why are you involved in crime.'
2. Dinner parties hosted by the Guptas
Ramatlhodi also testified that many ANC members often dined with the controversial family. Staff in his very own department were also wined and dined, as well as investors and prominent business people. However, Ramatlhodi said he banned his department from going when he became minister.
The way they operate, they were demonstrating power to these people. What they do, they'll call this whole department there and then call people who would be investors and say: 'You see, we've got the department, it's here, we want you to do this and that.'
3. Zuma's "defence against corruption charges" team
According to Ramatlhodi, Zuma had a team dedicated to getting him off the hook when he was facing corruption charges.
We had a team like that which then had to interrogate each and every facet of the appearance in court and to come out with strategies of how to get him off the hook. And I believe we did very well in that regard.
4. The toxic Zupta relationship
Ramatlhodi testified that the former president was warned about his relationship with the Gupta family more than once but refused to listen. Zuma felt indebted to the Guptas because they helped his sons in tough times. Who knew Zuma was so fiercely loyal?
In the national executive we would raise this issue with the president. We would say to him: 'This relationship of yours with these guys is toxic, why don't you end it? He would say: 'Those people are my friends because they helped my children when I was persona non grata. They helped Duduzane. They helped Edward. They gave them jobs when no one wanted me."
5. The infamous Waterkloof incident
Who doesn't remember the country-wide fury when the Guptas landed at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in 2013? Ramatlhodi stated that the incident was an insult to every South African, including the president. He said it was how the Gupta's displayed the control they had over the country.
One day I'm at correctional services, an airplane lands at our Waterkloof Air Force Base carrying wedding people. That for me was the last insult. I felt they were insulting even the president because what they were doing was to show off, you know, that they had captured the republic, it's theirs. They are not presidents but they can land at an air force base.
After everything Ramatlhodi said in front of the commission, it would be impossible for Jacob Zuma to say he is not implicated of any state capture involvement.
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