Trevor Manuel has said that state capture was an attempt to erode protections and controls of the Public Finance Management Act.
The former finance minister made the comments at the Zondo Commission, where he is currently testifying.
He said that the Act required government officials to serve the interests of the public, but that this principle was abandoned in pursuit of looting, which essentially meant taking money from South Africans who needed it most.
Manuel also explained his understanding of various political institutions enshrined in the Constitution. For example, he spoke about the importance of the president's oath of office, as well as the responsibilities of the president.
In Manuel's view, the president is the government's highest authority, and that all executive authority rests with the president. He added that Cabinet ministers did not have such executive authority.
He also added that the president's oath of office explicitly requires the president to advanced the interest of the South African people and constitution, and resist anything which threatens it.
The oath includes includes a pledge to "devote myself to the well-being of the Republic and all of its people", as well as a commitment to "observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution".
Manuel's implication seemed to be that Zuma had broken his oath as president by encouraging the state capture project.
Manuel's testimony is set to continue throughout the rest of the week.
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