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Until there is prima facie evidence against me I’m staying put: Gwede Mantashe

The former ANC administration boss says the Zondo inquiry threw him under the bus based on assumption, not fact

ANC national chairperson and mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe says he is going nowhere until there is prima facie evidence that he unduly benefited from Bosasa.

Mantashe was fingered for having gained from Bosasa-sponsored security upgrades at three of his properties, a fact he has not denied, but insists were paid for by family friend Papa Leshabane, who was a director of the controversial company at the time.

A combative Mantashe was speaking at a media session at his offices in Pretoria on Wednesday, where he responded to findings against him in part three of the state capture inquiry report.

Inquiry chairperson, acting chief justice Raymond Zondo, found that if law-enforcement agencies were to zoom in on Mantashe’s relationship with Bosasa, there were reasonable prospects they would unearth prima facie evidence that the former secretary-general of the governing party breached the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Precca).

The minister, who is taking the report on judicial review, insists there is nothing in the report that sticks to him and compels him to step aside.

According to Mantashe, his revolutionary consciousness does not allow him to go anywhere at this point.

“Consciousness is not a religious concept, it is a material concept. Until we move beyond the point that there is a ‘reasonable prospect’ that further investigation will uncover prima facie case against me, then we will decide at that point,” he said.

“The commission says there is no prima facie case Mantashe and you say there is no case, but step aside. That is religious because you want me to pray for the future and life thereafter.

“When there is no prima facie case and I step aside, then I am just impressing everybody else who wishes to see me stepping aside quicker. I will step aside when we move beyond this point,” he said.

Mantashe said continuing his responsibilities in government and the ANC would have no impact on the party’s dented image.

This because cleaning the image of the ANC did not mean the party must “run in all directions” when there was as yet no detailed analysis of the outcomes of the Zondo commission.

Mantashe said all who appeared before the inquiry had a right to take its decisions on judicial review and he would do so.

“The reason we say that is incorrect and must be challenged and tested in a legal review is because it is creating a case out of assumptions, it is not creating a case out of facts before the commission.”

Mantashe reiterated his assertion that Zondo’s report must not be used to fight internal ANC battles.

-TimesLive

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