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Thank God van Rooyen wasn't finance minister for longer, Zondo commission told

11 August 2020 6:43 PM
Tags:
Gupta
State Capture
Des van Rooyen
The Money Show
Lungisa Fuzile
Bruce Whitfield
Zondo commission

Lungisa Fuzile (former National Treasury DG) tore into former minister Des van Rooyen's performance and choice of advisers.

Des van Rooyen is known as South Africa's (the world's?) most short-lived minister of finance.

Then-president Jacob Zuma fired Nhlanhla Nene and appointed van Rooyen in December 2015, sending markets into a panic.

Four days later van Rooyen was moved to the co-operative governance and traditional affairs department.

His appointment was viewed as suspicious amid swirling allegations of state capture and an under-pressure Zuma replaced him with Pravin Gordhan as finance minister.

Former Cabinet minister Des van Rooyen outside the Zondo commission of inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg on 15 July 2019. Picture: EWN

But what did van Rooyen get up to during his briefest of tenures?

RELATED: Why did van Rooyen visit the Gupta home 7 times before his appointment?

During previous testimony, former National Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile alleged van Rooyen had instructed him to appoint three Gupta associates.

RELATED: Van Rooyen to cross-examine Fuzile before he takes stand at Zondo commission

On Tuesday, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo allowed Fuzile to be cross-examined before van Rooyen testified.

The testimony focused on van Rooyen's choice of advisers when he was, briefly, minister of finance.

Bruce Whitfield interviews freelance journalist Erin Bates.

What was quite astounding and curious really, was to hear his [van Rooyen's] argument for why he appointed Mohammed Bobat.

Erin Bates, Freelance journalist - Daily Maverick

Van Rooyen's version is that he met Bobat in 2009 at a restaurant in the North West; he got Bobat's business card... and then after that sole meeting in person they had one or two phone calls about van Rooyen's finance studies and then when he was called by Zuma to become finance minister it sort of occurred to him that this 'brilliant accountant' would be just the person to bring in and frogleap into National Treasury as his adviser!

Erin Bates, Freelance journalist - Daily Maverick

As van Rooyen himself conceded today, at this point he'd never seen Bobat's CV...

Erin Bates, Freelance journalist

And no matter how much he was cross examined... he stuck to the fact that these were his advisers, these were his people...

Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show host

For more detail on the ex-finance minister's astonishing testimony, listen below:


11 August 2020 6:43 PM
Tags:
Gupta
State Capture
Des van Rooyen
The Money Show
Lungisa Fuzile
Bruce Whitfield
Zondo commission

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