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Zuma was warned about Guptas but said no to probe by SSA, inquiry told

Shaik testified at the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday where he described former minister Siyabonga Cwele's interference in an investigation of the family as a dereliction of duty, which cost the state.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 19 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

PRETORIA - Former head of the State Security Agency's (SSA) foreign branch Mo Shaik said if they had been allowed to investigate the Gupta family, the controversial landing of a private jet at the Waterkloof Air Force Base would never have happened.

Shaik testified at the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday where he described former minister Siyabonga Cwele's interference in an investigation of the family as a dereliction of duty, which cost the state.

Shaik left office after former President Jacob Zuma also rejected warnings from him and other senior intelligence officials, who raised the alarm about the family.

Shaik said he and two other senior SSA officials met personally with Zuma to inform him of their proposed investigation of the Guptas.

“President Zuma expressed his preference for no investigation to continue. He may have alluded to it, [that] there is a lot of speculation and rumours about the Guptas, but this is not the case, they were very good business people.”

He said Zuma failed in his duties as the president: “He didn’t properly apply his mind to his obligation to provide effective and efficient direction of the Intelligence Service. I think the country has paid the price as a result thereof.”

Shaik will continue presenting evidence on Tuesday.

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