JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Wednesday dismissed Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene's testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry as lies.
The party said Nene never replied to its inquiry about his relationship with the controversial Gupta family.
''The EFF raised the matter in the Standing Committee on Finance [in Parliament] that the minister is failing to respond to important correspondence. The committee then resolved that the minister must respond withing 10 working days. He still ignored the committee and did not bother to respond. On the 10th of June 2018, we wrote a text message to the minister making a follow up on the correspondence, he simply ignored the text message and continues with business as usual.''
The EFF said it then submitted questions to Nene for written replies in Parliament, but instead Nene ''continued with his arrogance'' and undermined Parliament's processes.
The red berets accused Nene of facilitating the Guptas access to funding at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) when he was deputy finance minister and chairman of PIC. The red berets charged that Nene ''played victim'' after he was fired by former president Jacob Zuma in 2015 as he had broken ranks with the Guptas and stopped taking their phone calls. The fighters had demanded that Nene resign immediately after his testimony at the inquiry on Wednesday.
The minister testified that the EFF allegations against him were baseless and not true. He added that the EFF's statement on Tuesday that he never replied to their letter was incorrect, because he responded on June 12 this year.
The EFF was having none of it.
''Today, after his misleading submission, we wrote to him asking him for a copy of his response [to the EFF], his office's response was that the minister is considering our response. Even for such a simple letter, the minister could not resend or furnish us with his response to show that he is not lying,'' the EFF said.
''The EFF demand that the minister furnish us with the letter that he claims he wrote to us, and provide us with written responses to questions in Parliament.''