Nomvula Mokonyane to take state capture findings against her on review
Former premier and minister Nomvula Mokonyane has described the state capture commission's report as subjective, accusing its chairperson, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, and some members of the commission’s legal team of meddling in politics.
JOHANNESBURG - Former premier and minister Nomvula Mokonyane has described the state capture commission's report as subjective, accusing its chairperson, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, and some members of the commission’s legal team of meddling in politics.
Without fully disclosing whether she believed that state capture took place in the country, Mokonyane said that the nation, its media, some of the testimonies at the commission and the conduct of evidence leaders compromised what “could have been a good process.”
"All of them, all of them, including him u’Bab Zondo, because he has meddled into politics. How do you come in and talk about the country now having to elect a president differently? Show me a party that doesn’t do cadre deployment? Of course, maybe in its implementation maybe something goes wrong," remarked Mokonayne.
She also labelled findings in the report that she received favours, which included a surprise birthday party, several gifts, donations of food such as frozen chicken pieces, cold drinks, and whiskey from Bosasa, that’s owned by the Watson family as “total rubbish.”
"I get irritated. I get irritated because those were donations to deserving communities in this area. And not only here, but also in other areas near Bosasa,” is how she dismissed the claims.
"It does hurt, looking at what I sold for the freedom of this country, and what I'm still doing for the freedom of this country, in defence of the hard-won independence of this country," added the controversial politician.
She also suggested that it was a political ploy aimed at dealing with her, packaged to make her come off a certain way in the public’s eye. In the interview, without mentioning any names, she said that if indeed she was a “sell out” she would have named many other ministers and African National Congress (ANC) leaders who received favours and donations from the Watson family and its businesses.
The commission was also told that the former minister received a R3 million Aston Martin through a business deal with the family, which has since changed the name of its operations to African Global Solutions.
She does openly admit to the security upgrades to her home, which she says she’ll repay the money spent on them, if ordered to do so by the courts or authorities.
"If you say there’s substantial evidence other than the people bought by Agrizzi [Angelo], who else and what else do you have that shows that indeed Bosasa got contracts through me? I don’t want to be given power that I do not have and that I do not possess," Mokonyane told Eyewitness News’ politics podcast, Politricking with Tshidi Madia.
This as she broke her silence on the commission’s report, where she’s been heavily implicated in corruption and wrongdoing, and it’s been recommended that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) investigate allegations levelled against her further, with the possibility of pursuing criminal charges.
LISTEN: Tshidi Madia in conversation with Nomvula Mokonyane: Gordhan has made De Ruyter untouchable
A defiant Mokonyane said that she would take the findings and recommendations against her on review.
She seemed unfazed by the claims and subsequent findings against her, which was mainly based on evidence from Agrizzi, who himself is a corrupt, self-confessed racist, who served as the COO of Bosasa at the height of its operations.
Bosasa is said to have had a tight grip on the ANC and its leaders, using the Watson’s history of helping fight against the apartheid government and assisting it stay in power during the democratic dispensation to continue benefiting financially through government tenders.
"It is on record that I’ve never been a minister of any line function that Bosasa had contract with," is one of the explanations Mokonyane provided as a reason why she would have never interfered on the family’s behalf.
She also said that the commission’s main witness against her also admitted that Bosasa felt that it got nothing out of its relationship with her, arguing that in any corrupt relationship there must be a quid pro quo and such didn’t exist in this instance.
Mokonyane, in insisting that she wanted to clear her name, also poked holes into what she said were assumptions made by the commission on her role in the ANC’s national executive committee, which is the organisation’s highest decision-making body in between conferences.
"I would have loved to see the minutes or records that say I went to the NEC meeting and stood on top of the table and said we shall do this or [have] gone to Zuma and say, whether you like it or not you shall not prosecute or push that the Bosasa companies must not be put under any investigation. Again, this is him venturing into mixing the roles and playing against the separation of powers," said Mokonyane.
The fiery politician also defended her relationship with Watson and their businesses, saying there were many progressive businesses that had a relationship with political parties in the country.
Mokonyane said that she also regretted nothing about her relationship with the notorious family, insisting that in spite of a flurry of media reports at the time and a report from the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) alluding to corruption in some of the contracts Bosasa had a hand in, she was completely clueless about the behind-the-scenes operations at the company.