Judge Zondo dismisses EFF objection to Nombembe heading state capture probe

File: Terence Nombembe, the former Auditor-General, will remain investigations head in the State Capture Inquiry. Photo: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The head of the State Capture Inquiry, Raymond Zondo, has dismissed an Economic Freedom Fighters' objection to the appointment of former Auditor-General Terence Nombembe as investigations head. 

Soon after the appointment of the inquiry team the EFF accused Nombembe of accepting a million-rand donation from Gupta-linked company Trillian.

The party said this showed a conflict of interest on Nombembe's part and demanded his removal.

READ: Zondo starting on wrong footing, says Malema

But Zondo says there's no evidence Nombembe received the money.

Zondo found that the money was meant for a bursary scheme donation.

But it was returned to Trillian after damning allegations of the company's role in state capture.

The EFF says it stands by its objection to the appointment of Nombembe and calls on Zondo to reconsider his decision.

Spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement that the continued presence of Nombembe would leave the EFF no option but to approach the courts for his removal and to suspect taht the inquiry is "just a whitewash meant to bury the ANC's complacency".


While the party's utmost concern was the Trillian donation, Nombembe's relationship with former president Jacob Zuma while he was Auditor-General  was another serious red flag that could not be ignored, Ndlozi said.

"Zuma approved Nombembe's salary increase to R2.6-million from R1.7-million, backdated from 2006 December, on the eve of the release of the Nkandla saga when it was a foregone conclusion that Nombembe was going to investigate Nkandla. The salary increase gave Nombembe a cash playout of R6.5-million immediately, without substantive financial reason to rationalise such profligacy except to buy his favour."

In addition, Nombembe had not investigated the Guptas as he had promised.

"In fact, the EFF strongly believes that given the fact that Nombembe as the CEO of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountant, with auditors implicated in corruption perpetuated in state capture ... is much more seriously conflicted than we initially anticipated. We maintain that he is not suitable to carry out the role of head of investigation," Ndlozi said.



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