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Erin Bates @ermbates
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#StateCaptureInquiry Remember when @TreasuryRSA Minister of Treasury Nhlanhla Nene answered eNCA’s @samkelemaseko asking if he would testify? Nene said, “Watch this space.” And later, after some pressing from Maseko, “Watch the space, meaning a lot of us might be appearing soon.”
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene will be the first sitting minister to testify at the inquiry. Previously Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan attended hearings, when his former right hand man Mcebisi Jonas testified, saying a Gupta brother offered him the Finance Minister job.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene will testify on events around then President Jacob Zuma firing him at night on 9 December 2015. Zuma said at the time, “I wish Mr Van Rooyen all the best in this new appointment. The new deployment of Mr Nene will be announced in due course.”
#StateCaptureInquiry Zuma’s surprise decision to sack Nene sent the economy into a tailspin, causing a then record drop in the rand’s strength. In the wake of Zuma’s decision it plunged to a lows of over R15.38 to the US dollar.
#StateCaptureInquiry Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is set to testify at the inquiry today, while the @EFFSouthAfrica is calling for him to step down. The EFF says in a statement “throughout” Nene’s tenure as Deputy Finance Minister and PIC chair “he was captured by the Guptas.”
#StateCaptureInquiry The EFF’s statement asserts Nene, once Finance Minister, “stopped taking their calls and tried to work independent of the Guptas.” The party claims #Guptas approaches Jonas, Van Rooyen to be Finance Minister, as their appointee “was no longer cooperative."
#StateCaptureInquiry Coming up on Morning News Today, live from the Inquiry, @XoliMngambi previews today’s testimony from Nene. Tune in to Morning News Today with @UvekaR and @danmoyane now.
#StateCaptureInquiry @DavidMaynier of the @Our_DA has arrived ahead of Nene's testimony. Commission Secretary Dr Khotso de Wee has also just entered. Nene's expected to cover topics like Zuma unceremoniously firing him Finance Minister in 2015, the now-scrapped nuclear deal.
#StateCaptureInquiry Public hearings began on 20 August 2018, and we are now in the seventh week of testimony in this inquiry. Today the first *sitting* government minister will testify before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
[JUST IN] #StateCaptureInquiry Nene recently arrived at the inquiry venue in Parktown, Johannesburg. Advocate Wim Trengrove and Advocate Adila Hassim are also here.
#StateCaptureInquiry Warm greetings between Deputy Finance Minister Mondi Gungubhele and Nene. Michael Sachs is also here. @zizikodwa sits beside Gungubhele in the audience ahead of proceedings today.
#StateCaptureInquiry eNCA's @SiphamandlaGoge asked Nene, "Have you ever been approached by the Guptas? Have you ever met them? Whether you were still the Deputy Minister or the Minister? Were you ever asked to do certain things for the Gupta family?"
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene's reply to @SiphamandlaGoge was, "Look, I bumped into them in public gatherings once or twice but I've never had [...] engagements and I've never been asked by them to do anything for them." As @XoliMngambi has noted, today we will see if that holds up.
#StateCaptureInquiry Proceedings begin. Nene is sworn in, and Advocate Paul Pretorius introduces Nene's written statement which was, says Pretorius, prepared by Nene in consultation with his legal team and the inquiry's legal team. Pretorius speaks of two lever arch files.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene has a few corrections for his written statement. The first: the date of his (current) appointment which should read 27 February 2018. The second: the wording in his statement on meeting at Saxonwold and not going further than greeting #DuduzaneZuma.
#StateCaptureInquiry "On most occasions we did not speak other than greeting," says Nene. "Meaning we did not have a conversation beyond greeting." He is making amendments to his written statement.
#StateCaptureInquiry "In a response to a letter," says Nene, noting that "letter" must replace "parliamentary question" in his written statement to the inquiry. Now, he notes a typo, and corrects a name to the Nuclear Energy Executive Coordinating Committee.
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius refers Nene to page 50 of his statement, where his signature appears. The statement was signed on Monday, 1 October 2018. "Correct," says Nene.
#StateCaptureInquiry "Are the statements true and correct?" says Pretorius. Nene replies, "That is true." Pretorius notes there was a leaked press report in the @BDliveSA on the content of the statement. "Are you aware of that?" asks Pretorius. "I did see that," says Nene.
@BDliveSA #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius raises "certain allegations" and statements "being made in the public domain" which the inquiry must investigate. He notes "no one has approached the commission" with these allegations.
@BDliveSA #StateCaptureInquiry
Zondo says "and this is despite the fact" that on numerous occasions he has publicly called for those with information to come forward. Pretorius says, "Once evidence is before us, we will - of course - investigate."
@BDliveSA #StateCaptureInquiry "Just because they do not come forward does not mean the commission will not get to know," says Zondo, who's poken of other ministers with info relevant to the inquiry. "I just hope people realise that it would be better if they come forward on their own."
@BDliveSA #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo says it would be better if people (he has specifically said ministers, people in government) come forward on their own and not dragged "kicking and screaming" by the inquiry.
@BDliveSA #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo's said the inquiry will come to know what people did, this matter is of national interest and it would be better if people try not to conceal information. Nene now begins detailing his 20 years in finance, including his academic qualifications.
@BDliveSA #StateCaptureInquiry "I am extensively involved in the finance sector," says Nene after noting his qualifications including those from the University of the Western Cape and the University of London, where he studied economics.
@BDliveSA #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks, "Did you serve as Deputy Finance minister under the leadership of Former President Jacob Zuma?" Nene confirms. He's also detailed the Finance Minister under which he served as Deputy Finance Minister, including Trevor Manuel and Pravin Gordhan
@BDliveSA [PARAPHRASED] #StateCaptureInquiry Nene: I do believe I was removed from office because my views on not toeing the line on certain projects, it seems those projects may have benefitted the #Gupta family, for instance the nuclear deal and the SAA strategy.
@BDliveSA #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks, "And we are talking about financial benefit?" Nene replies, "I would imagine so, yes." Pretorius asks about the pressure on @TreasuryRSA. Nene begins submitting a response on this, says the Finance Minister is sometimes called "Mr No"
@BDliveSA @TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene reads from his written statement. He says, "National Treasury is consulted on all government proposals and proposed government projects [...] takes a critical view" and "it is Treasury's role" to find funds once Cabinet has decided on a proposal, project
@BDliveSA @TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene details the "weighty responsibilities" the Finance Minister bears, and notes s/he is the "final bulwark against corrupt dealings" before saying that "the complexity of the position" is outlined a document by Manuel which is attached as an addendum
@BDliveSA @TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry As highlighted by @XoliMngambi, for the first time Nene has publicly stated why he believes Zuma fired him on 9 December 2015. The reason, he says? He was unwilling to toe the line on projects that would benefit the #Guptas.
@BDliveSA @TreasuryRSA @XoliMngambi #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says that the Project Spider Web report alleging apartheid era intelligence infiltrated @TreasuryRSA followed a statement to that effect he considered conspiracy theory, he understands it was referred for investigation.
@BDliveSA @TreasuryRSA @XoliMngambi #StateCaptureInquiry Urgent demand that Nene meet with Zuma in mid-2015, that he go now, and when he went he saw Zuma with an official from Engen's owner, who Nene did not know, and was introduced. Zuma explained South Africa needed to own a refinery.
@BDliveSA @TreasuryRSA @XoliMngambi #StateCaptureInquiry "It was at that point that President Zuma [...] raised the issue of spies within the National Treasury. This was a month before the document Spider Web surfaced," says Nene of a meeting with Zuma and a representative from @Pretronas, which then owned Engen.
@BDliveSA @TreasuryRSA @XoliMngambi @pretronas #StateCaptureInquiry "The main allegations made in relation to me was that I am being handled by Ms Maria Ramos," says Nene before saying Ramos is referred to by the pseudonym "Queen of Leaves" in the Project Spider Web report
@BDliveSA @TreasuryRSA @XoliMngambi @pretronas #StateCaptureInquiry Nene details the allegations against him, involving his alleged co-conspirator Ramos AKA the "Queen of Leaves" in the Project Spider Web report, which has been widely discredited as, frankly, absolute rubbish.
@BDliveSA @TreasuryRSA @XoliMngambi @pretronas #StateCaptureInquiry "I strongly deny each and every of the allegations as baseless, and have no merit," says Nene. Pretorius notes the allegations are "quite detailed" and seem to reflect deep knowledge about the people's function in @TreasuryRSA.
@BDliveSA @TreasuryRSA @XoliMngambi @pretronas [PARAPHRASED] #StateCaptureInquiry Nene on why the report was investigated: We wanted to establish the origins of it, so we could then establish the intentions. I was concerned, it seemed like the Treasury was now going to be targeted to undermine its legitimate role and function
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene says concern over a perceived attempt to target and discredit @TreasuryRSA, its integrity was the motive for the National Treasury issuing a statement condemning the Project Spider Web dossier.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene speaks about @sarstax #Sars as an example of an institution which had been discredited and undermined in terms of strength. He says this was public knowledge and informed @TreasuryRSA's concern over the Project Spider Web report.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax Here from @TreasuryRSA's website is the statement on the Project Spider Web report, and notes the document was referred to the Minister of @StateSecurityRS David Mahlobo for further investigation. The outcome was, to Nene, unsatisfactory.

treasury.gov.za/comm_media/pre…
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says he first learnt he may lose his job as Finance Minister from Mcebisi Jonas on 26 October 2015. This is the day after Jonas says he met at Saxonwold with Duduzane Zuma, Fana Hlongwane and a Gupta brother.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS #StateCaptureInquiry In fact, Rajesh 'Tony' Gupta says in an affidavit he was at the Saxonwold house when Zuma junior, Hlongwane and Nene met, but Gupta says he was attending to other business, did not know Jonas, made no job or money offer, and only briefly spoke to Zuma.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS #StateCaptureInquiry Nene explains choosing an isolated balcony from which to talk with Jonas. Pretorius asks why he did so. Nene says in light of the Project Spider Web dossier, and the political climate, "even a flower pot" became suspect.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says that he and Jonas discussed what Jonas says happened at the #Saxonwold property. Nene says he recalls asking Jonas who were the #Guptas to offer him the Finance Minister job. Pretorius asks why Nene did not raise matters with President Zuma.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius now raises Nene's own contact with the #Gupta family. He says he did meet with the Gupta family "particularly Ajay Gupta" and at events "but not to discuss business" and gives an example of a post #SONA dinner hosted by the #Guptas.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says the #Guptas characterised themselves as responsible corporate citizens,he details a meeting at Sahara Computers, and that Ajay Gupta said the family did not do "any business" with government @GovernmentZA.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA #StateCaptureInquiry Just to follow up on my recent crossing with Thulasizwe Simelane on #eNCA403: the brother to whom Nene referred as having spoken to him at Saha Computers was, he says, Ajay Gupta.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA #StateCaptureInquiry Andile Mngxitama @Mngxitama and @wayneduv are among those who have entered the venue of the inquiry. Proceedings are expected to resume shortly. Zondo enters.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry Nene, before the tea adjournment, mentioned Ajay Gupta inviting him to tea, and that he had been invited to tour the Sahara Computers premises twice in 2010.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks Nene what he knew of the Guptas at this time. He says that he perceived them to be close to President Zuma, based for example on their proximity to him at a dinner.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks Nene if it was normal to meet with a private businessperson as Nene did with Ajay Gupta. He replies, "Indeed, I saw nothing wrong with it. I still see nothing wrong with it." Nene adds it was "like a PR exercise" going to Sahara Computers.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says that he learnt of a @TreasuryRSA investigation into the #EstinaDairyProject and says that's actually when he got suspicious of their narrative that they don't do any business with government.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo notes Nene has repeatedly referred to Atul Gupta talking about not doing business with government, and how those comments arose. Nene says the Guptas volunteered that information, responding to a perception of which he was not (at that time) aware.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius presses Nene on his perception of Gupta's conduct, if there was not hint of something rotten afoot. Nene says in retrospect "perhaps the PR exercise might have been an exercise to conceal something" referring to a meeting at Sahara Computers in 2010
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says Ajay Gupta invited him to Sahara Computers and later to tea at the Saxonwold home belonging to the family. He says there was not reason to be suspicious of the invitation in 2010. Pretorius notes Nene's reference to four Gupta meetings 2010-2013.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv [BREAKING] #StateCaptureInquiry In his statement to the inquiry Nene refers two four Gupta meetings he had with family members at Sahara Computers and the #Saxonwold family home between 2010 and 2013.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry At the time of these meetings, Nene was Deputy Finance Minister. Pretorius poses a question to Nene: if Nene did not find it strange they did not ask him to wield undue influence in their favour?
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks if Nene was asked if there would be @TreasuryRSA support for 'The New Age' newspaper. Nene says, in not so many words, yes and this was not untoward as government made use of other media houses.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius refers to Nene's mention of Duduzane Zuma being in #Saxonwold house during one of four meetings. To Nene, this confirmed his perception of the Zumas and Guptas being close, which he had from the first time he saw the family at the President's table.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquriy Nene submits that the @TreasuryRSA investigation into the #EstinaDairyProject in 2013 "was the first flashing light" for him on the Guptas.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asks why - in light of the #EstinaDairyProject investigation which was still underway - Nene still met with Ajay Gupta. Nene talks about "managing the relationship" and that "I thought it would do no harm to hear him out."
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv #StateCaptureInquiry Ajay Gupta told Nene about a court case with Iqbal Survé and describing to Nene "a problem he had" connected to Survé and funding, and a loan worth over R1 bullion from the PIC. By this point, notes Pretorius, Nene was Finance Minister. Nene confirms.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv @FloydShivambu @EFFSouthAfrica [IMPORTANT] #StateCaptureInquiry
While Nene has spoken about meeting four times with the Guptas over a roughly three year period he has testified he was never under pressure to, basically, pull favours for them.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv @FloydShivambu @EFFSouthAfrica #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius refers to the EFF statement but says he is not going to place it on the record officially and there's no evidence at this stage. Pretorius will deal "more generally" with the allegations. Nene says, "The letter was responded to, I can confirm that."
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv @FloydShivambu @EFFSouthAfrica MT: #StateCaptureInquiry Nene refers to the @EFFSouthAfrica's parliamentary question from @FloydShivambu and Nene's response says that other than what he has stated above he has "never met with the Guptas to discuss business and PIC funding"
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv @FloydShivambu @EFFSouthAfrica #StateCaptureInquiry "I deny any allegations that I acted inappropriately in terms of any PIC funding," says Nene. He denies EFF allegations on his son receiving PIC funding for an oil company. Nene refers to "fake WhatsApp messages" on his wife transferring money to Switzerland.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv @FloydShivambu @EFFSouthAfrica #StateCaptureInquiry "I deny the allegation with the contempt it deserves," says nene of the allegation regarding his wife, an alleged foreign bank account and purported money transfers.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv @FloydShivambu @EFFSouthAfrica #StateCaptureInquiry And now: the Nuclear Deal. Nene's set to talk about a nuclear summit in Russia, what President Jacob Zuma did to him then (this is how Pretorius introduced the theme). He describes the origins of the National Nuclear Energy Executive Coordination Committee.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv @FloydShivambu @EFFSouthAfrica #StateCaptureInquiry Nene speaks of the intended Nuclear Deal, the costing, forecast debt, the feasibility of it and its estimated "astronomical" costs. "There wasn't a proper funding model on the table," says Nene. A phased approach was estimated to cost a quarter of a trillion.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv @FloydShivambu @EFFSouthAfrica #StateCaptureInquiry "I would ultimately have to approve on behalf of government the funding model based on its viability," says Nene of the Nuclear Deal. He says the burden of the loan repayment model involving electricity tariffs would have borne by the South African public
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv @FloydShivambu @EFFSouthAfrica #StateCaptureInquiry Using eTolls as an example, Nene says the repayment model was not only likely to have long-term impact, but was risky (and may not have actually worked, the public revolted over eTolls).
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv @FloydShivambu @EFFSouthAfrica #StateCaptureInquiry We're now in Ufa, Russia where Nene and a delegation of Cabinet Ministers attended a briefing meeting with Zuma on 8 July 2015. This, prior to a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
@TreasuryRSA @sarstax @StateSecurityRS @GovernmentZA @Mngxitama @wayneduv @FloydShivambu @EFFSouthAfrica #StateCaptureInquiry "President Zuma proceeded to discuss the issue of nuclear procurement in South Africa," says Nene. He describes Zuma as hostile to him, and urging for progress on the Nuclear Deal and a letter binding South Africa and Russia in terms of a loan for the deal.
#StateCaptureInquiry “I understood the letter to be committing the South African future financial commitments to Russia if Russia were to build,” says Nene. Pretorius asks if it would have been prudent and legal to sign. Nene says it would have not.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo asks if the weight of what the letter was clear to Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson. Nene thinks so but she was under pressure to sign. “The pressure came, I think for both of us, came from Former President Jacob Zuma,” he says.
#StateCaptureCommission “I could see she really wanted to give a positive response to the President,” says Nene on a subsequent, revised draft of letter which Nene refused to sign. He was effectively accused by Zuma, others of insubordination, seen as an obstacle to Nuclear Deal.
#StateCaptureCommission “I think my colleagues, with respect, failed to understand the significance of my signature on the letter,” says Nene. He reports response from Joemat-Pettersson, Maite Nkoane-Mashabane, David Mahlobo was he was being insubordinate, they were displeased.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo asks Nene more about Zuma’s response to his not signing the letter tying South Africa up in debt with Russia if Russia did the nuclear build. “He was obviously very upset and he felt it was unacceptable [...] I had not done what I was supposed to do.”
[PARAPHRASED] #StateCaptureInquiry Nene: What I found strange was the lack of appreciation for the fact of the work that needed to be done, the relevant information that was required from the Department of Energy was not forthcoming, National Treasury was made out to be alone.
#StateCaptureCommission “That’s true,” says Nene in reply to Zondo raising Jonas speaking of hostility between Treasury and Zuma about the Nuclear Deal. He later says of the Ufa, Russia meeting with Zuma, “It was a very tense meeting [...] the meeting ended with an impasse.”
#StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius refers to Zuma’s treatment of Nene following the Ufa, Russia meeting and Nene’s refusal to sign draft letter. Nene speaks of Jonas meeting Zuma and Zuma raising his dissatisfaction with Nene. He says Zuma’s feeling “could be more than unhappiness”.
#StateCaptureInquiry “Was it anger?” asks Zondo. “I think so,” says Nene.
[BREAKING] #StateCaptureInquiry Nene thinks Zuma was angry with him over not signing a letter in 2015 that would have committed South Africa to debt with Russia should Russia do the nuclear build.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene resumes testifying at 14:00. Key points: he met with #Guptas four times from 2010-2013, denies all EFF allegations on undue PIC funding, says he did not help Guptas with business, Zuma was angry with him over the Nuclear Deal (that's why he was fired).
#StateCaptureInquiry Proceedings resume, and Pretorius raises the task team assigned to investigate the required "detailed technical work" on the financial implications, model and feasibility of the Nuclear Deal. He received a preliminary report on the financials in 2016.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene confirms the Nuclear Deal model was fiscally unsustainable. Pretorius highlights deal had already been approved by cabinet. Nene says a "stop-go" approach would mean they could stop on the way, there were proposals to make it a long-term and phased.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene describes a meeting on 8 December 2015 at @PresidencyZA's guesthouse in Pretoria, Mahlamba Ndlopfu. He says Treasury was excluded at first, being given a time an hour later than initially agreed. He arrived to find others present at the meeting with Zuma
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene says he arrived at Mahlamba Nldopfu to find Nkoana-Mashabane, Mahlobo, Brown and Joemat-Pettersson present. He says he entered on his own, and later officials joined. Energy Department officials led a presentation on the Nuclear Deal, excluding key info.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene says the presentation did not reflect the input from @TreasuryRSA on concern over feasibility, the proposed phased approach. "The department's assumptions were extremely optimistic [...] resulting in a lower cost than was realistic," he says.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene says on speaking to Zuma about the presentation during the meeting, "I had reached a point where I had done everything humanly possible, you know, to express our views on the matter [...] I felt there was just no point to continue raising the issues."
#StateCaptureInquiry "I had expended all my fighting power [...] it concluded with a decision to proceed with the Nuclear Deal," says Nene. He adds Zuma made a remark about Treasury not doing in this case what it did with the PetroSA deal he referred to earlier.
MT: #StateCaptureInquiry Beyond detailing the inaccurate currency assumptions in the Department of Energy presentation and the absent financial feasibility model, Nene says he was spent in terms of fighting power on the Nuclear Deal.
#StateCaptureInquiry Subsequent to meeting at Mahlamba Nldopfu deciding to proceed with the Nuclear Deal whether or not @TreasuryRSA was in, Nene says he and colleagues went to the Sheraton hotel, discussed with alarm the meeting and parallels between this deal, the Arms Deal.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says that despite the Nuclear Deal being far greater a cost to the State, rigour was not applied in assessing its feasibility. He says while at the Sheraton, he saw a media report that he would be fired as Finance Minister. He was resigned,
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry "You shrugged your shoulders," says Pretorius. "That's true." Nene now speaks of meeting with Zuma on the morning of 9 December 2015, no mention of his impending sacking. Pretorius says the Cabinet Meeting minutes from that morning have been declassified.
@TreasuryRSA [DECLASSIFIED] #StateCaptureInquiry "The proposal comes from the Minister of Energy. There is no proposal, or co-proposal from the Minister of Treasury," says Pretorius. Nene confirms this. In other words: Joemat-Pettersson pitched the Nuclear Deal.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius notes the whole, entire Cabinet approved the Nuclear Deal proposal even though there was no complete feasibility study on the funding model. Nene notes there was an added provision on the currency exchange rate (increase from R10/$ to R14/$).
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo asks if Nene thinks the jump in currency estimates and its significance was something Cabinet Ministers grasped. "I don't think it mattered," says Nene.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius now summarises the circumstances by the day (more accurately, night) Zuma fired Nene. He speaks of a pattern, the BRICS Summit in Russia and attacks on Nene himself and @TreasuryRSA (as in the Project Spider Web report).
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry "There was pressure on us from Former President Zuma and other Cabinet Ministers to approve the Nuclear Deal," reads Nene's statement.
Zondo: Which Cabinet Ministers?
Nene: Joemat-Pettersson was driving process, with Nkoana-Mashabane, Mahlobo were vocal.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Next, Nene will tackle South African Airways, its backsliding until it was put under @TreasurytRSA administration. Zondo notes the severe losses SAA endured, citing almost double losses in one year. What was done? asks Zondo.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene speaks of SAA and worries over it as a going concern, he cites the financial risks of government guarantees for an unstable entity, especially when government had a responsibility to pay social grants monthly to millions of beneficiaries.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene describes a letter to SAA chair Dudu Myeni and raised concerns about purchase agreement between Airbus and SAA from 2002. SAA was to purchase 15 A320 aircraft. It was amended in 2008 to increase the tally to 20. Ten were delivered between 2013 and 2015.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says the purchase, repayment agreement was amended. The number of remaining aircraft to be purchased and delivered from 2015 to 2017 was reduced. Airbus would also refund R1.3 billion of pre-delivery payment.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says that Myeni proposed an alternative model in which SAA would sale to lease all the outstanding aircraft, and with the facilitation of a local company. Pretorius asks if that was an appropriate, lawful and proper arrangement.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo says the sale to lease agreement, does it have any particular benefit to the model. "Our view was that it would have negative impact," says Nene. That's why they requested assurance that any such amendment would indeed benefit SAA, be prudent.
#StateCaptureInquiry Who was the company, asks Pretorius. Nene does not remember off hand but the information is available.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene says it was not certain Myeni's model would benefit SAA and "there was even a significant risk that it would leave SAA in a financially worse position" with a high probability of SAA defaulting. He decided not to approve the transaction.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene details a @TreasuryRSA statement in early December 2015 on SAA and the decision not go with the lease to buy model. He describes a November 2015 meeting with Myeni and Zuma.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry So, what is Nene telling us? Leading up to 9 December 2015 when Zuma fired him, Nene had been an obstacle to the financially risky Nuclear Deal which Zuma wanted at all costs and the financially risky lease to buy model for SAA aircraft, proposed by Myeni.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInqiuiry Nene has described his decision not to approve Myeni's proposal on buying Airbus A320 aircraft through a lease to buy model. It is referred to in a 21 December 2015 @TreasuryRSA statement from then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says the November 2015 meeting with Zuma, Myeni was (to him) a chance for Myeni to vent her frustrations with Nene. That Zuma spoke about wanting them "to find each other" as in find common ground. Nene and Myeni were "at each other's throats," says Nene
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene has told the inquiry that, based on his comment during that meeting in November 2015, Zuma's attitude toward @TreasuryRSA was "lack of appreciation or disregard."
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene describes a letter from Myeni in which she notes a telephonic call with Zuma while Zuma was in Sudan in which she and he discussed establishing an SAA route to Khartoum via Entebbe.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says he replied to Myeni and told her business case evaluating the new route to Khartoum would incur a loss of R30 million in the first two years of operation, "notwithstanding the projected losses."
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry He did not approve the Khartoum route, over financial feasibility concerns. Nene suspects "this and other decisions frustrated Ms Myeni and Mr Zuma and I suspect they contributed to my dismissal."
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInqiuiry Nene describes what Zuma said to him when he was called back to the Union Buildings after the marathon Cabinet Meeting that day. He says he will translate what said in isiZulu and he hopes the translation is correct. Nene hope he won't speak "Zinglish"
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Zuma informed Nene of a new position earmarked for him at the BRICS bank. Nene thanked Zuma for an opportunity to serve the country. "The entire meeting lasted for two to three minutes. Which is good after a marathon Cabinet Meeting," says Nene.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry "It is obvious that the appointment at the BRICS bank was a fabrication," says Nene, and Zuma had no authority to say Nene would be deployed to a BRICS bank regional centre role. Zuma's role is limited to participation in summit meetings, says Nene.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene has told the inquiry who he contacted after his Union Buildings meeting with Zuma when Zuma fired him and, without the necessary authority, said Nene would be appointed to a BRICS bank position.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says he was invited to the #Guptas Sun City wedding but declined the invitation. Pretorius then asks about the IDC, and its funding for the Gupta's acquisition of an uranium mine. That mine is a Shiva Uranium asset.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry I just felt it would not be appropriate, says Nene on why he did not go to the #Gupta wedding in Sun City.
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo asks Nene about his last paragraph. "There may be matters which you may believe you haven't dealt with [...] is that because there are other matters [...] that might need to be dealt with later?"
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Nene says, "I think it is with the view that it is not possible to deal exhaustively with everything."
@TreasuryRSA #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo asks Nene about the 9 December 2015 meeting with Zuma, and Zuma mentioning that the deployment had been discussed with the Top Six in @MYANC. Zondo asks if the Top Six keeps minutes. "No, I don't know and I don't aspire to know," says Nene to chuckles.
@TreasuryRSA @MYANC #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo asks Nene what transpired in his meeting with Zuma on 9 December 2015. "Did you understand him to be saying to you the reason why you were being removed [...] was because you were needed in that position he talked about?" asks Zondo.
@TreasuryRSA @MYANC #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo thanks Nene for coming and says he will probably be called back. Pretorius says the legal team has not issued any notices to any implicated persons as yet, due to the statement only being filed on Monday, 1 October. They will attend to the matter ASAP.
@TreasuryRSA @MYANC #StateCaptureInqiuiry We are safer if I make the decision after all concerned are notified and give implicated persons right of reply on not being given notice, says Zondo. He is prepared to allow it if everyone is given the opportunity to be heard.
@TreasuryRSA @MYANC [JUST IN] #StateCaptureInquiry On 12 October 2018 Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan is scheduled to testify at the inquiry. The next sitting is scheduled for 10 October 2018.
@TreasuryRSA @MYANC #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo says there is the possibility changes will be communicated. "We adjourn," says Zondo.
#StateCaptureInquiry In 2016 Nene told @SiphamandlaGoge he'd "bumped into" #Guptas at public gatherings "once or twice", "never had any engagements", was "never been asked to do anything for them" the Finance Minister has now disclosed meetings at Saxonwold and Sahara Computers.
#StateCaptureInquiry Nene's disclosed he had four #Gupta meetings from 2010-2013 at #Saxonwold or Sahara Computer offices. He also visited Saxonwold twice in 2014. By then #Guptas were under investigation by @TreasuryRSA over allegations of corruption in connection with #Estina.
#StateCaptureInquiry Key in today's testimony: Nene's mention of SAA's dire financial straits in 2015. He believes his refusing Dudu Myeni's lease to buy scheme for Airbus jets spurred an "angry" Zuma to fire him, as did his resistance to the nuke deal.
[1/2] #StateCaptureInquiry Pretorius asked Nene why he went to #Saxonwold in 2014 when the #Guptas were under investigation over Estina. Nene replied, "Look, I thought I should not be influenced by just the investigation, which had not been concluded."
[2/2] "Managing a relationship means you are now going to be more careful and circumspect in dealing with people but it does not necessarily mean all of a sudden I can't call you because you are being investigated," said Nene on meeting Ajay Gupta in #Saxonwold in 2014.
[JUST RELEASED] #StateCaptureInquiry Declassified 'Top Secret' Cabinet Meeting minutes from 9 December 2015 note that Cabinet approved the nuclear deal. The papers have just been released by the @StateCaptureCom.
#StateCaptureInquiry The declassified 'Top Secret' minutes from 2015 states that Cabinet took a decision that the financial viability of the proposed Nuclear Deal would be investigated and the Department of Energy and @TreasuryRSA would cooperate.
#StateCaptureInquiry Declassified Cabinet Meeting minutes from 9 December 2015 show that R6 billion was earmarked for the Nuclear Deal and government took a decision not to communicate the worst case scenario in terms of estimated costs, if costs needed to be communicated at all.
#StateCaptureInquiry "If any communication needs to be done around the costs of the programme, it is better to talk about the low end of the range, whilst referencing where that price is applicable," read 9 December 2015 'Top Secret' minutes just released by the @StateCaptureCom.
#StateCaptureInquiry Just to follow up, as I committed to do so on air, to an earlier question from @CathyMohlahlana about Cabinet approving the Nuclear Deal and what exactly was said. There was, in the end, not time to include the clip on #NewsNight later in the show.
#StateCaptureInquiry To follow up, here follows a transcription of what was said. It was Pretorius - and not Nene, I was wrong - who said, based on the now declassified 'Top Secret' minutes, "the Cabinet approved the proposal" from the Department of Energy on the Nuclear Deal.
#StateCaptureInquiry "That is correct," said Nene replying to Pretorius on Cabinet approving the Nuclear Deal as indicated in 'Top Secret' minutes from 9 December 2015. Pretorius continued, "There is nothing apparent here about a phased approach." Nene replied, "No."
#StateCaptureInquiry "And there's no mention here of any compliance with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act or the presentation or consideration of any feasibility study. Am I correct?" said Pretorius. "You are correct," said Nene.
#StateCaptureInquiry So, while the discussion transcribed above and recently released classified papers don't answer @CathyMohlahlana's on point question on WHO in Cabinet approved the deal - and was it everyone - it does show the 2015 Nuclear Deal approval was GROSSLY irregular.
#StateCaptureInquiry Previously 'Top Secret' classified minutes of a Cabinet meeting in early December 2015 and right before #Nenegate has a mere one word under CONSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS for the Nuclear Deal. It reads, "None."
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