State Security Agency paid millions for Zuma’s “upkeep” and to pay off judges, Zondo told

The State Capture inquiry heard on Monday that the State Security Agency’s (SSA) Special Operations unit paid millions of rands to former president Jacob Zuma between 2015 and 2017.

Sydney Mufamadi, who formerly led a separate inquiry into the SSA, testified in front of the inquiry.

According to him, an SSA agent had previously told his panel that the agency’s Spec Ops ran “Project Commitment”, which had maintained Zuma’s financial upkeep through monthly payments of millions of rand.

Mufamadi testified that cash payments of R 2,5m were made every month in the 2015/16 financial year. In 2016/17, these payments were increased to R 4,5m per month.

The SSA agent told Mufamadi’s panel that these payments were being made “via” former state security minister David Mahlobo.

While it is believed that the money was then used for Zuma’s “financial upkeep”, there is no hard evidence that he received the money as the agent never witnessed it.

Mufamadi said, “We have no basis to say it was given to former president Zuma or it was not.”

As well as payments made through “Project Commitment”, SSA’s Spec Ops also ran “Project Justice”, the inquiry heard.

The aim of this unit was to recruit and handle “sources” within the judiciary to look out for Zuma’s interests.

“Project Justice” was formed after the agency discovered hostility towards Zuma within the judiciary.

According to Mufamadi, payments of millions of Rand were also granted to this project by the SSA, for the “handling of these sources”.

“The independence of the judiciary … you forget about it if this project was implemented,” said Mufamadi.