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State capture inquiry told Van Rooyen’s advisor was abusive, dismissive

Des Van Rooyen was briefly appointed finance minister in 2015 after Nhlanhla Nene was unceremoniously fired in a move that sent shockwaves through the markets.

A video screengrab of former chief director of communications at National Treasury Phumza Macanda appearing at the state capture commission on 26 November 2018.

JOHANNESBURG - Treasury's former chief director for communications Phumza Macanda has told the state capture commission that Des Van Rooyen’s advisor Mohamed Bobat was unwelcoming, dismissive and abusive during his short stint at Treasury.

Van Rooyen was briefly appointed finance minister in 2015 after Nhlanhla Nene was unceremoniously fired in a move that sent shockwaves through the markets.

Macanda is the third Treasury official to confirm that Van Rooyen didn't seem to know Bobat well and it emerged he didn't even have his contact numbers when they met at the Union Buildings for his swearing-in ceremony.

Macanda first told the commission about a blizzard interaction between Bobat and Van Rooyan.

“Bobat said to the minister ‘I called you, why did you not return my call?’ and his tone was the same authoritative one that he had used with me. The minister then said ‘oh, I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls from people congratulating me, and the thing is, I don’t have your number'."

She also described the impression she got from Bobat.

“He was abusive, I thought, and intimidating. He was ignorant of the roles but he was also not interested in what the roles were.”

She named some of the things Bobat did, including ordering one Treasury official to vacate his office and demanding that every statement be approved by him and the minister, even though the usual process was for the minister and DG to sign off on statements.

WATCH: Former Treasury official Phumza Macanda at the state capture commission