ANC was blindsided by the Guptas & Zuma friendship, Ramaphosa tells Zondo

He admitted the governing party did not do enough in the wake of state capture claims due to the Guptas’ relationship with then ANC president Jacob Zuma.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is sworn-in at the state capture inquiry on 11 August 2021. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa said the African National Congress (ANC) was blindsided by the fact that the Guptas were friends with the leader of their party.

He admitted the governing party did not do enough in the wake of state capture claims due to the Guptas’ relationship with then ANC president Jacob Zuma.

On Thursday, Ramaphosa gave testimony before the state capture commission, which is looking into allegations that the notorious family had control over key positions and some state-owned enterprises.

They and Zuma are at the heart of numerous claims of widespread looting of state-owned enterprises.

Ramaphosa, who succeeded Zuma, was the second in command at the time.

He told the commission how Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula was brave, coming out to the ANC’s national executive committee about the Guptas informing him of his appointment to the ministry.

He also said Gwede Mantashe, who was ANC secretary general at the time and is now ANC’s national chairperson, was the who spoke out against a Gupta plane landing at a national key point.

“The level of alertness was just not there because we were blindsided by the fact that these were friends of the president [Zuma].”

WATCH: WATCH: Ramaphosa: state capture was ‘nicely hidden’

DICTATORSHIP?

Ramaphosa also said centralising intelligence within the Presidency didn’t mean the country was sliding into a dictatorship.

State security lapses have come under the spotlight at the state capture commission with President Ramaphosa saying the intelligence services needed an overhaul.

He told the commission that intelligence was used in the ANC’s own factional battles.

READ:

- Ramaphosa: Reports SSA had unvetted private army working for Zuma being probed

- State Security Agency needs realignment, Ramaphosa tells Zondo Inquiry

The president said people had misunderstood the decision to move state security to the Presidency.

Ramaphosa said the move was also part of realigning the intelligence services.

“Many people have misunderstood it; they’ve even gone to an extent of saying the president is creating a ‘super Presidency’ and others have gone off to say this is now the emergence of a dictatorship whist others are saying we’re becoming a totalitarian state.”

Ramaphosa was also asked about a recent stand-off between the Investigating Directorate and the SSA at an attempted raid in Pretoria.

He said evidence of a private security army for former President Jacob Zuma within the SSA is being investigated.

WATCH: Defend Our Democracy: Ramaphosa admissions prove state capture was not fiction

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