JOHANNESBURG: ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe is set to appear before the commission of inquiry into state capture on Tuesday. He is expected to explain the party’s decision to call several of the country’s major banks to Luthuli House over closed Gupta accounts.
The ruling party’s delegation, led by Mantashe, will address submissions made by the banks as well as the testimony of former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan at the commission chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
In September, the commission heard that Standard Bank executives had been summoned to Luthuli House to discuss the closure of Gupta bank accounts following “suspicious” transactions.
“We are limiting our submissions on two things: The submissions of the bank and some aspects of issues raised by comrade Barbara Hogan in relation to systems or working of the ANC,” spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told the media during a short adjournment outside the commission.
The country’s four big banks closed the Guptas’ accounts in 2016 over 70 listed “suspicious transactions” totalling almost R7bn that were recorded by the Financial Intelligence Centre.
One of the four banks, Standard Bank, in September submitted to the Zondo commission that the ANC as well as government ministers exerted pressure on the bank to rescind its decision to close Gupta bank accounts.
Standard Bank head of compliance Ian Sinton testified that in a meeting, former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane told the bank that the governing party had the power to change banking laws.
“Towards the end of the meeting they reminded us that, as a bank, we operated under a licence granted by government, and they suggested we should be more responsive to concerns they were raising on behalf of government,” Sinton told the commission.
Former head of the Government Communication and Information System Mzwanele Manyi will first wrap up his testimony, having testified on Monday.