South Africa: Themba Maseko 'Ready and Available' to Testify in State Capture Inquiry

Themba Maseko, the only person to submit a written complaint about the Guptas to the ANC in 2016 when party members were given the opportunity to do so in 2016, says he will avail himself to testify in a commission of inquiry into state capture if called upon.

President Jacob Zuma's terms of reference for a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture were finally published and released on Thursday.

The inquiry is largely based on former public protector Thuli Madonsela's recommendations, and will probe all forms of government corruption, including allegations against Zuma, his Cabinet and the Guptas.

Maseko, a former government spokesperson, told News24 on Thursday that he was happy with the terms following their release.

"It's a step in the right direction. I am very pleased that the terms were based on the [former] Public Protector's report," he said.

"I've always said that I was ready to participate in any investigation of all state capture allegations, especially where it pertains to myself.

"I'm ready and I'm available."

'Not a personal mission'

Maseko said as far as he knows, although he was the only individual to put pen to paper in a complaint to then ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe in March 2016, following the party's own process to probe the various allegations, others had spoken to Mantashe in person.

When asked how he felt now, he said: "I am pleased. I wouldn't say I feel vindicated, but I am pleased that the process has reached this point.

"This is not a personal mission or a grudge against anyone. For me it's about getting to the bottom of these allegations and holding those responsible accountable.

"I'm hoping the investigation will do just that, people will come forward, and the commission will lay the basis for people to be prosecuted."

In March 2016, Maseko told the Sunday Times that Zuma had arranged a meeting with him and the Guptas while he was head of Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).

'He told me I'd be dealt with'

According to Maseko, Zuma phoned him directly to ensure he "helped" the Gupta brothers.

"When I declined to cooperate, Ajay Gupta said I would be 'sorted out' and I'd be dealt with, he would talk to my superiors," he relayed to News24.

"A few months later, I was removed from my position at GCIS."

Zuma's spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga at the time said the president had nothing to do with Maseko's exit at GCIS, saying ministers appointed individuals to his position.

Former Oakbay CEO Nazeem Howa at the time called Maseko's story "totally unfounded".

Howa has since resigned from Oakbay.

The commission meanwhile will also look at the claims made by former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas and former MP Vytjie Mentor about the Gupta family.

Mentor on Thursday posted on Facebook: "I am studying the terms of reference. I am happy, but need to check if there are any [loopholes] etc."

The commission has 180 days in which to carry out its work.

Source: News24

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