Former National Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile has concluded his testimony at the Zondo commission which largely corroborated evidence provided by former finance ministers Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan.
Fuzile focused his testimony on Monday on the controversial nuclear deal that was championed by former president Jacob Zuma
He told the commission that Cabinet approved the deal despite advice from Nene and Treasury officials.
He said if the deal had gone ahead it would have had devastating effects on the country.
“This was the biggest procurement ever in the history of the country, yet the processes were rushed and some of the stuff that was talked about was not followed. If nuclear had proceeded, this country would have been in trouble. The process that was followed was seriously flawed. There was a brushing aside of the true cost of the project,” said Fuzile.
He spoke about the PetroSA-Engen deal, which would have seen the government help fund the purchase of PetroSA’s stake in Engen.
Gordhan had told the inquiry last year that the deal would have cost between R12 and R14 billion.
He said even with this deal, like with nuclear deal, there was a rush to conclude without proper processes and due diligence being followed.
The PetroSA-Engen deal was eventually halted by Gordhan.
Fuzile also told the inquiry why he chose not to continue serving as director-general as he felt he would not be able to make a difference after the departure of Gordhan.
He left the department in May 2017.
Earlier in the day former minister of finance Des van Rooyen’s legal team indicated that it would apply to cross-examine Fuzile. The former minister is willing to appear and give his version of events. Van Rooyen also faces the possibility of being cross-examined by National Treasury.
On Tuesday, the inquiry will hear testimony from National Treasury economist Catherine MacLeod.
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