South Africa - Pretoria - 10 April 2019 - UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa cross examined by the Lebashe Investment Group during the PIC Commission of Inquiry. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)

PRETORIA – United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa, was back in the hot seat at the PIC Commission of Inquiry into impropriety at the state-owned entity during certain periods, on Monday.

The morning’s proceedings were characterised by back and forth exchanges between Holomisa and Advocate Danny Berger, who is representing Lebashe Investment (Lebashe), Harith General Practitioners (GP) and Harith Fund Managers (FM).

These organisations were implicated by Holomisa, when he testified before retired Judge Lex Mpati earlier during the commission.

All three companies are linked to former deputy finance minister Jabu Moleketi, who was also a chairman of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).  

Moloketi is now the chairman of the board at Harith GP, and also sits on the board of Lebashe - both companies received funding from the PIC.

Holomisa’s representative, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, told the commission that Berger was being unfair in his line of questioning towards the UDM leader.  

Ngcukaitobi said Holomisa is constantly being accused of not producing facts when he has, in fact, produced information and evidence during his testimony that he suggested to the PIC Commission, required investigating to verify or not. Judge Mpati reminded Berger of these terms of reference, confirming that Holomisa had not presented his testimony as fact, but that it required looking into.  He also suggested that the people mentioned in Mr Holomisa’s testimony were also free to present themselves to the Commission. 

Ngcukaitobi also argued that the cross-examination of his client (Holomisa) without him having sight of Lebashe, GP and FM’s submission to the Commission, put Mr Holomisa in a disadvantaged position, as he could not answer questions in a vacuum.

He said his client needed information to empower the work of the commission. He also questioned why, Lebashe had refused to be cross examined.

He was of the view that Berger was trying to get the commission to accept an ambush, without providing him the necessary information.

“My client is going to be cross examined completely blank. Last week, two propositions were put. The point of the cross examination is to get to the bottom of the truth. The Commission is not a court of law. There is no basis laid for the exclusion of the documents,” he said.

He lambasted Berger, whom he claims, assaulted Holomisa’s credibility and standing.

“If they are not prepared to subject themselves to a cross examination, then they have no basis to cross examine Holomisa. They just want to discredit him. If they refuse to be cross examined, then they should stop cross examining Holomisa,” said Ngcukaitobi.