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Mbalula was emotional over encounter with Gupta brother, Manuel tells inquiry

Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has taken the stand at the inquiry, speaking about the ANC NEC meeting that took place in August 2011.

A screengrab of former Finance Minister testifying at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on 28 February 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has described to the state capture commission the emotional state African National Congress (ANC) elections head Fikile Mbalula was in when he described his encounter with one of the Gupta brothers.

Manuel has taken the stand at the inquiry, speaking about the ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting that took place in August 2011.

The former minister wrote a column in the Daily Maverick two years ago, saying Mbalula made a tearful confession during the 2011 meeting, saying a Gupta brother had previously informed him he would be appointed sports minister in 2010.

WATCH: Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture resumes

In the Daily Maverick article, Manuel asked Mbalula if he remembered the tears he shed over the Guptas during the NEC meeting.

He has now told the commission what Mbalula said during that meeting.

“There was a tense discussion about the influence of the Guptas. He [Mbalula] said that he was called to Saxonwold to be told by the Guptas that he was going to be appointed as Minister of Sport and Recreation.”

He says Mbalula appeared emotional.

“It was an exceedingly difficult and emotional issue for Mr Mbalula, in my interpretation. But, in retrospect, this was the emotional part of it, it should never have been the Guptas or anybody else to tell him that.”

Manuel has also confirmed former President Jacob Zuma was in the room when Mbalula raised concerns about his friends, the Guptas, but Zuma simply didn’t show any reaction.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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