Manuel: Guptas knew about cabinet changes before announcement

Manuel: Guptas knew about cabinet changes before announcement

- Trevor Manuel and Siphiwe Nyanda have told the Zondo Commission that the Guptas had influence over who Zuma fired and appointed as Cabinet ministers

- They added that Zuma kept quiet when confronted about his relationship with the family

- Manuel also alleges that Zuma fired ministers who refused to go along with state capture

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Both Trevor Manuel and ex-Communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda have claimed that the Guptas knew about Cabinet changes before they were made.

They added that Zuma was silent when government officials mentioned the allegations that the Guptas had influence over appointments and firings. 

Manuel also accused the former president of twisting the state into a tool for his own enrichment.

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This comes after Manuel told the Commission that Atul Gupta knew about Fikile Mbalula's appointment as sports minister before Mbalula did. Nyanda corroborated this, alleging that Zuma consulted with the Guptas before any changes to Cabinet. 

Nyana claims that there was suspicion about the Guptas' influence over the president, but that these fears were confirmed after the incident with Mbalula.

Manuel added that Zuma would fire ministers who opposed the state capture project, and replace them with officials who were easier to influence. He explained that this was the reason for several of Zuma's Cabinet reshuffles, including his massive reshuffle in 2015.

READ ALSO: Zondo Commission says Fikile Mbalula missed deadline to respond

As an example, Manuel cited Zuma's firing of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and replacing him with Des van Rooyen in 2015. According to Manuel, van Rooyen had spent the previous week in close communication with the Gupta family.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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