#StateCaptureInquiry: 'Guptas must explain why they can't testify in person'
Johannesburg - The fugitive Gupta brothers - Ajay, Rajesh and Atul - will have to submit affidavits regarding their refusal to travel to South Africa to testify at the commission of inquiry into state capture, inquiry chairman Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said on Monday.
The family and former president Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane, have applied to the commission to be allowed to cross-examine witnesses such as ex-MP Vytjie Mentor, former government spin doctor Themba Maseko and former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas. The three gave explosive testimony implicating the Guptas, Zuma and Duduzane.
The family has, through their legal representative, told Zondo that they preferred to testify via video link from a location in Dubai, than travel to South Africa and be subjected to more ''incompetence by the police and prosecutors''.
Evidence leader Vincent Maleka argued last week against Guptas preference for video-link and told Zondo that the family wanted the commission to work according to their terms. The family's evidence, he said, was not ''worth the paper it's written on'' and was all about them portraying themselves as innocent in the state capture saga.
Zondo will rule on the applications to cross-examine this week.
Last week's damning testimony by Government Communication Information System (GCIS) acting CEO Phumla Williams implicated former communications minister Faith Muthambi.
Williams described Muthambi rule at the department as a ''a reign of terror and stealing''. Muthambi has not requested permission to cross-examine Williams while the former president has reportedly said the evidence presented so far at the commission does not implicate him in any wrongdoing and would therefore not request to cross-examine witnesses.
Maleka told the commission one person who had refused to testify ''had a change of heart'' and would testify. He did not reveal who that was.
The commission is on Monday hearing evidence from national treasury official Jan Gilliland who traced the millions of rands paid from government coffers to Gupta-owned The New Age newspaper and news television network ANN7.