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Former spy boss blames Zuma, Cwele for handling of Guptas probe

Former head of the State Security Agency Jeff Maqetuka testified at the state capture commission of inquiry on Friday.

FILE: A screenshot from the trailer of the documentary film 'How to Steal a Country'. Image: Youtube.

JOHANNESBURG - Former head of the State Security Agency Jeff Maqetuka said the controversial Gupta family was investigated because it was a fundamental breach of national security for an individual or family to interfere with the appointment of Cabinet ministers.

Maqetuka testified at the state capture commission of inquiry on Friday.

He confirmed that investigations were dropped because then State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele was against the continuation of the probe.

Maqetuka has confirmed that he left the State Security Agency after his relationship with Cwele broke down.

He said Cwele believed the investigation into the controversial family was irregular because it was conducted by Maqetuka’s colleague, Gibson Njenje, who he had accused of protecting his own business interests, which were allegedly in conflict with those of the Guptas.

Maqetuka said he objected to the accusations and clarified that Njenje hadn't initiated the accusations and challenged the minister to prove the conflict of interest.

He said their matter was addressed with former President Jacob Zuma but in a subsequent meeting that took almost two hours, the president didn’t say a word and it was clear to him from Zuma's body language that he didn’t approve.

Maqetuka added that it was clear from the last physical meeting with Zuma that his relationship with the former president and the minister was irreparable and he was eventually fired.

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