The previous pastor Fikile Mbalula has “no dread” about testifying about the Guptas at the state capture inquiry.
Mbalula was speaking on Thursday about the prospect of appearing before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.
“I’m mentioned there, at the state capture, and I’m talking to the investigators. So, at a given point in time and date agreed, I think I’ll be called upon to give an account about what I probably said in the NEC about the Guptas,” Mbalula told newsmen.
“I’ve got no fear about that,” said Mbalula, whose much used Twitter-handle is “Fikile (Mr Fearfokkol)”.
“I’m ready, anytime, with or without a lawyer. I will be there to explain exactly what happened.”
Mbalula said he would reveal his conversations with the Guptas – that led to him standing at an ANC NEC meeting “expressing disdain” at the commission headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
He said he wasn’t a frequent visitor to the Gupta home in Saxonwold, but that he had met Ajay Gupta there.
He said he had been invited to the controversial Gupta wedding, but decided not to go because of the landing at Waterkloof, which he described as “shocking stuff”.
The commission was a “necessary process”, Mbalula said.
“The ANC has been brave enough to allow this to happen.”
The commission is the result of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report, State of Capture, which was released in November 2016.
Madonsela’s remedial actions included that former president Jacob Zuma must appoint a commission into state capture, whose chairperson had to be appointed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
Zuma unsuccessfully challenged this in court and, in January last year, on the eve of a crucial meeting of the ANC’s national executive committee – which was expected to discuss his recall – Zuma announced the establishment of the commission, with Zondo as its head, following Mogoeng’s recommendation, saying that “the matter cannot wait any longer”.
Mbalula served as minister of police and as minister of sport in Zuma’s Cabinet but did not make the cut when President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed his Cabinet. He is now the ANC’s head of elections.
The commission will continue with its hearings in January, but a date has not been announced yet.