Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas will appear as a witness at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday. Picture: Facebook

Johannesburg - Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas will appear as a witness at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday. 

Jonas' testimony could be critical for the inquiry as he had publicly announced that he was allegedly bribed by one of the Gupta brothers. 

The commission of inquiry into state capture is investigating allegations of corruption largely centred around the infamous Gupta family and former president Jacob Zuma.   

It has been alleged that the Gupta family used its relationship with Zuma to score business deals with state-owned enterprises. Billions were allegedly paid out to the family in suspicious business deals involving government officials. 

The first day of the inquiry was spent on outlining the terms of reference which will be guided by the State of Capture report released in 2016 by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. 

Jonas had confirmed news reports in 2016 that he had been offered the position of finance minister, replacing Nhlanhlana Nene. He said he was offered the position by Ajay Gupta in the presence of Duduzane Zuma and businessman Fana Hlongwane. He added that he was offered a bribe of R600 000 in cash and would later be paid R600 million for taking up the position. 

He refused the bribe. 

Ajay Gupta, Duduzane, and Hlongwane have denied Jonas' version of events.

Jonas' testimony is expected to focus on what he told the Public Protector and the statement he submitted. 

He is the second witness to take the stand.

On Tuesday, Treasury official Willie Mathebula took the stand and outlined the Treasury's procurement processes.

Mathebula's testimony also focused on the abuse of procurement processes.

Mathebula said there were instances where some government entities used the deviation clause to circumvent procurement processes which would essentially allow them to award the tender to whomever they chose. 

On Monday, lawyers representing various individuals implicated in the inquiry asked for more time to assess documents and to prepare for cross-examination. 

The lawyers made representations to the chairperson of the state capture inquiry deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.

Advocate Mike Hellens, who represents Ajay Gupta in the allegations presented by Themba Maseko and Vytie Mentor, said his team would be ready to cross-exam by early September. 

Zuma's lawyer Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane asked for more time to study the documents,  he said they have received three notices on allegations presented by Mentor, Phumla Williams, and Themba Maseko. 

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