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Mbalula: State capture could have been avoided if they listened to me

Fikile Mbalula explained how he made an impassioned plea to the ANC national executive committee in August 2011, telling the 80-member committee that unless the influence exerted on the state by the Gupta family was addressed, the party would find itself in a crisis.

A screengrab of ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula at the Zondo Commission on 22 March 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - Had the African National Congress (ANC) acted on claims of state capture as early as 2010, events that unfolded, including the Gupta Waterkloof landing scandal, could have been prevented.

This is according to ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula who testified before the Zondo Commission on Friday.

WATCH: Mbalula: ANC NEC was quiet when I brought up Ajay Gupta

Mbalula explained how he made an impassioned plea to the ANC national executive committee in August 2011, telling the 80-member committee that unless the influence exerted on the state by the Gupta family was addressed, the party would find itself in a crisis.

Mbalula said when he told the NEC about his 2010 encounter with Ajay Gupta who congratulated him for being appointed as sports minister before then President Jacob Zuma had formally appointed him, not a single person seconded him.

The NEC, which is also the highest decision-making structure in the ANC, turned a blind eye to the allegations levelled against the Guptas, the state capture inquiry heard.

It was only years later when the crisis over state capture deepened collapsing state-owned institutions that the NEC addressed the issue, but they were not decisive enough, as Mbalula explained.

Mbalula was invited to testify at the commission following earlier testimonies by former ministers Trevor Manuel and Siphiwe Nyanda who related what he told the NEC in 2011.

Both men were part of the 2011 NEC meeting.

Mbalula implied that those who failed to speak up about the Gupta problem when it first surfaced could have been silenced by fear of reprisal.

The commission will reconvene on Monday.

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