Senior Standard Bank officials queried why Mzwanele Manyi‚ who later took over the Gupta family’s media empire‚ was attending a meeting about the bank shutting down their accounts.
“We asked on what basis he was attending and we were told that he was an advisor to the minister‚” said Standard Bank’s Ian Sinton‚ who was testifying before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Monday.
He described how he and Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala had attended an inter-ministerial committee meeting‚ chaired by then mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane and attended by then labour minister Mildred Oliphant. He believed the meeting was aimed at persuading South Africa’s four major banks to reverse their decisions to close Gupta accounts.
He said Manyi had attended the entire meeting.
Sinton said Zwane had told those assembled that the committee had been appointed by Cabinet‚ and he had been appointed by then president Jacob Zuma to lead it.
“We understood the purpose of the meeting to be the closure of the Gupta bank accounts‚” Sinton said.
As they had during an earlier meeting with the ANC‚ Sinton said‚ Standard Bank had sought to explain the legal prescripts that had underpinned its decision.