Justice Raymond Zondo at the start of The Zondo Commission gets under way. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - Lawyers representing former president Jacob Zuma and Ajay Gupta have asked for more time to prepare for cross-examination and to study the allegations against their clients. 

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

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. 

Lawyer Welcome Lisenga, who represents former minister of state enterprises Lynne Brown, said his client had not received any notice but requests that they are included in correspondence as it may happen that she be implicated. 

Zondo has requested that the legal counsels that want to cross-exam witnesses need to motivate for the reason to be allowed to do so. 

On the first day of the inquiry, Advocate Paul Pretorius gave an overview of the commission's terms of reference which are largely driven by the State of Capture Report released by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in 2016. 

Witnesses expected to appear on the first session of the inquiry, including former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, former minister Vytie Mentor, Treasury official Ndleleni Willie Mathebula, former head of government communications Themba Maseko and GCIS official Phumla Williams. 

The inquiry is investigating allegations of corruption and state levelled against the Gupta family and former president Jacob Zuma. 

* Receive IOL's top stories via WhatsApp by sending your name to 0745573535.