A suspected Gupta ally who parachuted into National Treasury as an adviser to former finance minister Des van Rooyen allegedly acted as a law unto himself, handing out instructions to senior officials even before the minister was sworn in.
In his testimony to the state capture inquiry on Thursday, former director-general Lungisa Fuzile described his initial encounter with one of Van Rooyen’s advisers, Mohamed Bobat, on December 10 2015 — the day Van Rooyen was to be sworn in as finance minister.
Fuzile said he was invited to the Union Buildings for the ceremony. It took place a day after former president Jacob Zuma sacked Nhlanhla Nene from the same position, sending the markets on a downward spiral.
“He (Bobat) looks towards me and greets me. I responded. And then he told me immediately, in fact as part of introducing himself, that he is the adviser to Van Rooyen and I was taken aback. I was taken aback because all the advisers that the department had had in my tenure had signed contracts with me. It’s like you’re meeting a person on whose appointment you were supposed to be a signatory and you know you never signed,” Fuzile said.