Gigaba’s bid to block estranged wife from appearing before Zondo commission dismissed
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has dismissed an application by former finance minister Malusi Gigaba to block his estranged wife, Norma Mngoma, from giving evidence at the State Capture Inquiry.
Gigaba's legal representative, advocate Richard Solomon, relied on two points when he made the application to Zondo on Monday evening.
Solomon said that Mngoma should not be compelled to give evidence about her husband's alleged dealings with the Gupta family as she was entitled to uphold her marital privilege.
Since Mngoma previously backed out of giving evidence at the commission, Solomon said this was indicative that Mngoma was exercising her right to keep her married life private and that the commission should not compel her to give evidence.
Zondo asked Solomon if he was telling the commission to refuse to hear evidence that may relate to state capture from a person willing to give that evidence?
Solomon countered that Mngoma’s most recent and sudden decision to withdraw from the proceedings should be respected.
He also told the commission that judging by Mngoma’s decision to withdraw her evidence, compelling her to appear may result in her delivering "vindictively motivated" evidence.
"Her evidence might be tainted. Her credibility would need to be tested," he said.
Solomon also cited that Mngoma’s evidence may be personal and negatively affect the two younger children that the couple share as well as their divorce proceedings.
However, Zondo dismissed the application and told Solomon that he could request to hear his reasons for the dismissal at a later stage. He also dismissed Solomon's relief option of having Mngoma’s evidence heard in camera.
Zondo said that he would hear Gigaba's application to cross-examine Mngoma at a later stage.
Mngoma is expected to give evidence related to the former minister’s alleged activities with the Gupta family while he held two ministerial positions.