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Karyn Maughan @karynmaughan
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Important. Nene now addressing his engagements with the Gupta family, who he met for the first time at a function in 2009. He was later invited to Sahara Computers, where he says Ajay Gupta told him that the family were “good corporate citizens” who “didn’t do business with govt”
Nene says he saw nothing wrong in meeting with Guptas at Sahara Computers in 2010. He testifies this wasn’t unusual
He got suspicious 2013 when Treasury started investigating Estina Dairy Farm. That made him question Gupta claims they didn’t do business with the state
Nene says he visited Saxonwold 4 times in 2010,2013. He can’t remember specific dates.
At the time, he says he was - by virtue of being Deputy Finance Minister - also a non executive chair of the Public Investment Corporation.
He is “not aware” of PIC giving loans to Guptas
Nene says he knew the Guptas were “very close” to then President Zuma, a belief reinforced by #DuduzaneZuma’s presence at Saxonwold.
Nene says Treasury appointed ENS to investigate the Estina Dairy Project - which various Gupta associates are now facing charges over. That investigation happened around 2013, and reported handed over to law enforcement.
Despite this, he agreed to meet with the Guptas in 2014
Nene denies that he ever did any favors or was offered any inducements by the Guptas.
Pretorius now questions him about a May 2018 letter written to him by @FloydShivambu, who suggested he had facilitated the Guptas access to the PIC.
Nene has denied this.
Pretorius now questions Nene about the statement released by @EFFSouthAfrica, which claimed he refused to answer their questions. He says this isn’t true, as he had sent a response to the allegations against him.
Nene says he never had meetings with the Guptas to discuss their access to PIC funding.
He denies that he acted to promote funding for his son’s business. “We are convinced that this one is also baseless”
He denies “fake WhatsApp messages” that his wife received foreign funds
“What I find interesting is the timing of these allegations, and the way in which they were raised on social media and not proper channels.,” says Nene
He adds that allegations were made a few days before his testimony at the #StateCaptureInquiry
Nene says government’s proposed nuclear build programme carried with it “astronomical costs”.
“It would have come to a quarter of a trillion” for a phased project. He says total project could have exceeded R1trillion.
Nene says nuclear build project could have had massive implications on tariffs charged. The consequences would have been felt for decades, he says. This was a massive risk to SA economy.
Nene describes meeting he had with then Pres Zuma in July 2015 - prior to JZ meeting with Russian Pres Putin.
He says Zuma wanted to know what progress Nene and Minister of Energy had made in finalizing nuke deal
“The President criticized me for not finalizing financial aspects”
Nene says he told Zuma that nuclear deal couldn’t progress because of lack of funding model. Investigation into financial implications had also not been completed.
Nene says he didn’t sign a letter given to him from Energy Minister - making commitments to Russia re nuclear deal.
Nene says he believes both he and Energy Minister Joemat-Petersen felt that they were being put under pressure re nuclear deal from Fmr President Zuma.
Nene says then President Zuma indirectly accused him of insubordination. This accusation was reiterated by then State Security Min Mahlobo and International Relations Min Nkoana-Mashabane.
Nene says they didn’t understand the implications of him signing commitment to Russia
Nene says he told Zuma that he could not sign commitment to Russia re nuclear deal because of necessary info, etc still being outstanding.
“It was a very tense meeting. It ended with us being told to find a solution.”
Nene says Deputy Finance Minister of Russia told him that they were aware of some kind of nuclear deal, but had no real details about it.
Zondo asks Nene about Zuma reaction to him refusing to sign letter making commitments to Russia.
Was it anger? Zondo asks
“I think so” says Nene.
Nene says Dept of Energy officials failed to present an accurate picture of what nuclear build programme would cost SA - portraying it as 40% less expensive than what it would be.
This was because officials measured the rand-dollar exchange as R10 to the dollar.
Nene says Treasury views were totally excluded in crucial meeting with Zuma over nuclear build programme.
The meeting concluded with resolution that deal would go ahead.
Zuma said “Treasury would not do with us what it did with PetroSA”.
Nene now testifying about how SAA was put under administration, as it was technically insolvent. It could only raise funding through government guarantees.
Nene details how he blocked attempts by SAA’s Dudu Miyeni to alter financial arrangements aimed at reducing the growing financial risks attached to the parastatal.
His fears worsened when nearly entire board resigned.
In Nov 2015 he was called to meeting with Zuma, Miyeni.
Nene says he had stated at an ANC Study Group meeting that either “Dudu Miyeni leaves or I leave”. He said this out of frustration. His comments were then reported to Miyeni.
Nene says he and Dudu Miyeni were “at each other’s throats”. He was her boss, in many respects, yet fmr President Zuma “treated us both as errant children”.
He indicated he thought she should be removed from the SAA board.
Nene describing how then President Zuma fired him (in isizulu).
He says Zuma asked him if he recalled that he said SA would need to send a senior official to the Africa Regional Centre (BRICS).
“We discussed this matter with the Top 6 and we agreed we should put you there”.
Nene says the whole meeting with Zuma lasted 3-4 minutes.
“It’s obvious that the deployment to the BRICS bank was a fabrication”.
Zuma could not have offered him that position. He had no authority to do so.
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