Phone records support Jonas claims about Treasury job offer

Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas File picture: Freddy Mavunda / Business Day
Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas
File picture: Freddy Mavunda / Business Day

Telephone records helped former public protector Thuli Madonsela in her state capture probe.

In her report‚ she reveals that she obtained and analysed the telephone records of people implicated by deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas in offering him the top job at the Treasury.

“Mr Jonas further made available his mobile phone which he used at the time for the inspection and analysis of the contents‚” she says.

“In this regard‚ I secured via subpoena‚ telephone records of … Mr Jonas‚ Duduzile Zuma (President Jacob Zuma’s son)‚ Mr (Fana) Hlongwane … and Mr Des van Rooyen.”

Analysis showed that Jonas added Zuma Jnr as a contact on October 17‚ and communication between them continued — mostly via SMS — until October 26.

“The telephone records show that both Mr Jonas and Mr D Zuma were at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on 23 October 2016 between 1pm and 2pm‚” says Madonsela.

This is the day when Jonas claimed he met Zuma at the Rosebank hotel before being driven to the Gupta compound in Saxonwold.

“The records further show that there were calls between Mr D Zuma and Mr Hlongwane on 23 October 2016 between 12.56pm and 1.25pm‚” says Madonsela.

“Whilst the records place both Mr Hlongwane and Mr D. Zuma at Saxonwold‚ they did not show Mr Jonas at the same location. The records however show that Mr Jonas was at the airport later on the same date‚ which also confirms his version of events.

“According to the cellular network companies‚ there needs to be a billable event for a tower location to be recorded.

“Having had regard to the wider allegations including the allegations that members of the Gupta family are involved in the appointment of cabinet members‚ I reviewed the telephone records of Mr Van Rooyen to establish his whereabouts on 8 December 2015‚ the day Mr (Nhlanhla) Nene was informed by President Zuma that he will be removed as minister of finance.

“The telephone records show that Mr Van Rooyen was at Saxonwold on 8 December 2015. The records further show that Mr Van Rooyen frequently visits Saxonwold.”

Madonsela’s report then includes a diagram showing activity on Van Rooyen’s phone from Saxonwold on numerous days at the end of 2015 and the start of 2016.

— TMG Digital/The Times

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