Gordhan: ‘ANC Leaders Were Afraid To Approach Mantashe Over State Capture’

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan continues his testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture on 21 November 2018 held at the Hill on Empire offices. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says African National Congress (ANC) leaders did not approach the party’s secretary-general with information about state capture because they feared for their lives.

Shortly after former deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas revealed in 2016 that members of the Gupta family had offered him the top post in Treasury, Gwede Mantashe called on those with information on the Guptas influence on government to come forward.

But Mantashe later said that of the eight people who came forward, only one was willing to offer a written statement in a formal complaint.

At the time, the ANC was looking into widespread claims of state capture, Mantashe promised political protection to anyone who had been approached by the Guptas and was willing to disclose what they knew or their experiences with the family.

On Wednesday, Gordhan told the Zondo commission that people were still fearful.

“The reality is that there was a cloud of fear; a fear for one’s life, a fear for one’s family, fear of losing one’s job. But that cloud of fear in the more formal sense shouldn’t be underestimated.”

Gordhan says there were conspiracy theories doing the rounds, as well as some intelligence reports targeted at certain individuals.

He says according to his knowledge, former government spokesperson Themba Maseko was the only ANC member who was willing to officially lay a complaint with the ANC about the Guptas influence.

WATCH: #StateCaptureInquiry: Gordhan continues giving evidence