Ntshavheni responds to Zondo report: 'I was never lobbied for decisions I supported or opposed'
Minister of communications and digital technologies Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has responded to the state capture commission finding against her.
Part 2 of the commission’s report released this week found that Ntshavheni participated in the decision to suspend and fire three Denel executives in 2015.
At the time, Ntshavheni served as a Denel board member and member of the SOE’s risk and audit committee which took the decision to send the executives packing.
I have never been party to any alleged acts of fraud, corruption, maladministration and state captureKhumbudzo Ntshavheni
According to the report, the decision was flawed as the executives were suspended for vague reasons and were never afforded an opportunity to explain themselves in a formal disciplinary committee.
The executives ended up accepting golden handshakes amounting to millions of rand to walk away, without a disciplinary process against them.
For this, commission chairperson, acting chief justice Raymond Zondo, recommended that Ntshavheni and other board members be investigated by law enforcement agencies with a view to prosecution for failing in their fiduciary duties.
The recommendation, if followed, may lead to Ntshavheni and her fellow former colleagues on the Denel board being declared delinquent directors and thus affect her standing as a minister.
Ntshavheni disagrees with the report and insists she never did anything wrong, adding that the decision to show the three executives the door was within the law.
She said she had never met the Guptas nor did she do their bidding in executing her duty as a Denel board member.
“I wish to put it on public record, as I have recorded it with the commission, that I have never met any of the Gupta brothers or any of their associates,” she said on Friday.
“I was never lobbied for the decisions I supported or opposed as a non-executive member of the Denel board of directors.
“I discharged my fiduciary responsibilities with vigour, integrity and in line with the required legislative and regulatory prescripts. I have never been party to any alleged acts of fraud, corruption, maladministration and state capture.”
According to Ntshavheni, the action the Denel board took against the three executives was in line with advice by the shareholder — the department of public enterprises.
The minister, however, could not say what her individual contribution was in the decision to suspended the executives.
She said the minutes that could reveal this have been classified and thus cannot be divulged publicly.
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