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State Arrest: Nianda shot after she refused repeated calls to meet Gupta



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Former Communications Minister Sipivay Nianda told the investigating commission of the arrest of the state that he was fired after he refused to recognize calls for a meeting with the Gupta family.

Nianda, who was the head of the ANK's Liberation Army Army headquarters, was the second witness to testify on the appointment and removal of ministers on Thursday.

He told the chairman of the commission, the deputy chairman of the court, Raimond Zondu, that he met once with the brothers Gupta in his office and was accompanied by his son Duduzana, former President Jacob Zuma.

The family is accused of using its close relationship with the former president to rob the state and control some of its decisions, including the appointment of members of the executive and operations in state-owned enterprises.

Nianda told the commission that after his first encounter with Gupta, he would receive messages from "emigrants" asking him to meet with his family.

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"It was a little weird when they invited me to see me, and I gave them respect to see me. They did it through my office to see them," Nanda said.

Although he refused to name those messages from Guptas, Nianda said that he understood that the family knew that he was close to those specific people and that he believed them to convey their wishes to the former minister.

"I did not suspect anything because there were many people who wanted to see me privately, but I always insisted it be in my office," he explained.

Nianda, who served only as a minister for 18 months, was removed during the government's reconstruction in October 2010.

He also told the commission that he had received a call from someone in the Presidency while on a trip to Durban, asking him to meet Zuma, followed by a call from the then president to tell him that the ANC officials decided to translate it in Germany.

Nianda said that he refused to do so and chose to be a lawmaker in parliament, trying to find out from ANC officials what he had done wrong.

"I heard rumors that I will be removed, but I did not trust them because there was general stability in portfolios under my watch," Njanda said.

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Earlier, he confirmed the testimony of former finance minister Trevor Manuel that the former minister and now ANC president Fikila Mbalula was upset after finding out that he would appoint him minister.

"What was extraordinary to me was that Mbalula made this strange discovery, which was in fact a criticism of the way he was notified of his upcoming appointment, in other words, he was upset," Nianda said.

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