Ajay Gupta Picture: Chris Collingridge/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - Ajay Gupta's application to cross-examine former Finance minister Trevor Manuel has been dismissed. 

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo for a second time denied the Gupta brother an opportunity to cross-examine a witness. 

Manuel is expected to appear before the inquiry soon and he is expected to give evidence related to the appointment of Fikile Mbalula as a minister. 

Ajay's legal representative Advocate Mike Helens appeared before the inquiry on Tuesday and motivated for his application. 

Helens said there was a need to question witnesses that appeared before the inquiry as so far there had been a "one-sided view of the evidence". 

Helens said his clients still do not trust the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Hawks. He mentioned the withdrawal of the charges against Gupta associates that were charged in the Estina Dairy farm matter as an example. 

Zondo asked if the Guptas had changed their mind about appearing in person before the inquiry and Helens again reiterated that they were still unwilling to return to South Africa. 

Zondo said he had no reason to grant the application as the reasons mentioned in his ruling in September last year still remained.

He said witnesses had to be willing to appear before the commission and give their versions if they want to cross-examine witnesses. 

Last year, Zondo rejected Rajesh and Atul Gupta's application to cross-examine former deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas, former GCIS CEO Themba Maseko and former ANC Vyjie Mentor. 

The inquiry continues with the testimony of former Bosasa CEO Angelo Agrizzi who is expected to conclude his testimony on Tuesday.

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