ANC integrity committee recommended Zuma step down in 2013, Mantashe tells Zondo

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe acknowledged that the party was destabilised by calls for Zuma to step down after the Guptas landed a plane at Waterkloof airbase but he maintained that whilst members of the party were captured by the Guptas, the ANC itself wasn’t.

A screengrab of  African National Congress (ANC) chairperson Gwede Mantashe appearing before the state capture inquiry on 14 April 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Gwede Mantashe has told the state capture commission that the African National Congress (ANC)'s integrity committee recommended that former President Jacob Zuma step down a full five years before his removal from office because of reports of the influence of the Guptas.

The ANC chairperson testified on Wednesday night about parliamentary oversight that happened while he was secretary-general of the ruling party.

He acknowledged that the party was destabilised by calls for Zuma to step down after the Guptas landed a planeload of wedding guests at Waterkloof airbase but he maintained that whilst members of the party were captured by the Guptas, the ANC itself wasn’t.

“The integrity commission’s recommendation that President Zuma should step down was connected in any way with the allegations of the influence of the Gupta family?” asked Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

"Yes," responded Mantashe.

The ANC's integrity commission had long been criticised as a toothless tiger and last night the state capture commission heard that it had recommended as far back as 2013 that Zuma should step down.

Mantashe said that, at the time, ministers were already beginning to get instructions from the Guptas and he told them to resist.

“We said please don’t do what is not legitimate as instruction and I saw many began to do that and many paid the price.“

He said that the ANC was divided.

“You have a group of members of the NEC who would stand up in the NEC and say to President Zuma he must resign. And the majority of the members saying no, that’s not how it is done. When that happens, your duty as the secretary-general is to navigate through that stormy weather with care.”

Mantashe said that when the party asked members to submit their experiences with the Guptas only one did - Themba Maseko, the former head of government communications who was removed because he didn’t take instructions from the Guptas. He believed that others were afraid to incriminate themselves.

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