If you captured Treasury, then you've captured the entire state - Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the appointment of Des van Rooyen as finance minister by Jacob Zuma was the straw that broke the camel's back when it came to state capture.

President Cyril Ramaphosa appears at the state capture inquiry on 11 August 2021. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the appointment of Des van Rooyen as finance minister by Jacob Zuma was the straw that broke the camel's back when it came to state capture.

“This had an impact on the financial markets shortly after Mr Van Rooyen was sworn in. The Director-General of Treasury, Mr Lungisa Fuzile, asked to meet me urgently. He expressed grave concern based on his interaction with the new minister and his advisors,” said the president.

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He said the firing of Nhlanhla Nene in 2015 and replacing him with Van Rooyen was one of the biggest examples of state capture and abuse of power, which even impacted the country's finances.

Ramaphosa was making an opening statement at the state capture commission about his time as deputy president.

“To me, the capture of National Treasury was almost the final culmination of state capture, because if you captured National Treasury, then you basically captured the entire state,” Ramaphosa said.

I HAD NO INFLUENCE IN ESKOM’S DECSION

Ramaphosa has denied that as a political heavyweight in the past, he was able to influence decision-making in business, particularly Eskom.

He said he cut ties with his business interests after entering government.

He also spoke about his interests prior to entering government referring to the acquisition of coal and Glencore.

“In my case, they would have been mistaken; because as much as one would have wanted to go into coal business, it had to be business that is ran in accordance with rules and without bringing undue influence on anyone.”

Ramaphosa said he was never used to act against state assets while in business as alleged by some former senior Eskom officials.

“I refute and I deny the notion that I would have been used as a politically connected person and I reject that outrightly.”

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