Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas gestures ahead of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing state capture in Johannesburg. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas gestures ahead of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing state capture in Johannesburg. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

#StateCaptureInquiry: Hawks boss expresses 'serious concern' over Jonas' testimony

By LOYISO SIDIMBA Time of article published Aug 25, 2018

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Johannesburg - Hawks head Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya, said he noted with “serious concern” the alleged roles played by some members of his unit, as presented at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday.

“The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI also known as the Hawks) is following the process closely and will apply the laws that are being invited.

“We support the work of the commission and (we) will allow the witnesses to complete the testimony without distraction before enlisting their assistance in visiting the matter,” he said.

This followed former deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jonas’ explosive testimony before the commission.

Jonas said he did not report the R600 million and R600 000 bribes he was offered by one of the Gupta brothers because he had lost faith in the criminal justice system and believed the Hawks were politically manipulated.

He said he received a call from controversial ex-Hawks boss Mthandazo Ntlemeza ,who asked him to give a statement after DA MP David Maynier, laid criminal charges against Atul and Ajay Gupta as well as Duduzane Zuma.

According to Jonas’ statement, Major-General Zinhle Mnonopi, acting Hawks head in the Eastern Cape, contacted him and told him he was probing the complaint laid by Maynier in May 2016.

At the time, Mnonopi was head of Hawks’ serious corruption initiative at its head office in Tshwane.

But Ntlemeza dismissed Jonas’ testimony, saying he did not co-operate with the Hawks team investigating the matter.

“My team spent time running around looking for him for the statement he issued to be made into affidavit form,” said Ntlemeza.

Jonas eventually complied and submitted the March 2016 press statement confirming media reports that the Guptas had offered him R600m and R600000, in order to appoint him as Nhlanhla Nene’s replacement as finance minister if he agreed to “work” for the controversial family.

“When I was head of the DPCI, my mandate was to ensure that all cases were investigated thoroughly and taken to court,”Ntlemeza said.

However, Jonas testified that Mnonopi arrived at his office with a prepared statement while he was with his lawyer, Max Boqwana.

Mnonopi allegedly told Jonas the case was the DA’s, must be “killed” in the presence of Boqwana and that the statement was a matter of formality as she had secured a deal with the prosecutor handling the matter.

Jonas refused to sign Mnonopi’s prepared statement, saying he was not surprised by their approach as they were highly compromised.

Asked by Phillip Mokoena, a member of the commission’s legal team leading his evidence, whether he had introduced Boqwana to Mnonopi as his lawyer, Jonas said he did and they knew each other from the Eastern Cape.

Among the first people Jonas told about the Guptas bribe, was his boss at the time, then-finance minister Nene, current Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and his wife as well as then-ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, who told him (Jonas) he had heard rumours about the Guptas’ offer.

“Mkhize was shocked,” Jonas said.

Jonas revealed that one of the Gupta brothers he met at the family’s Saxonwold compound threatened to kill him if he ever told anyone about the meeting, which was facilitated by former president Jacob Zuma’s son and another controversial figure, Fana Hlongwane.

He said he could not tell who the boastful and loud Gupta brother was - either Ajay or Rajesh - but found him very stupid and at some point, he (Jonas) thought the Gupta brother was going to punch him.

Boqwana and Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Political Bureau

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