Zondo Commission: Dukwana set to implicate more than 30 people including Magashule
Johannesburg - Former Free State economic development MEC Mxolisi Dukwana's evidence at the state capture commission of inquiry is set to implicate more than 30 people, including African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule.
Dukwana is on Tuesday expected to testify on Magashule's relationship with the fugitive Guptas and how the family was let loose and gobbled up Free State resources while Magashule was provincial premier.
Evidence leader, Advocate Phillip Mokoena, said almost 30 people mentioned in Dukwana's evidence have been served with notices. They included other top Free State government officials such as Social Development MEC Mamiki Qabathe, Magashule's successor as Premier Sisi Ntombela, director-general in the office of the premier Kopung Ralinkotsane, official in premier's office Ipeleng Morake, chairman of Parliament's transport committee Mosebenzi Zwane and Gupta affiliate Iqbal Sharma.
Mokoena said all those implicated responded through affidavits and some through letters to the commission. Magashule told the commission through a letter that he wanted Dukwana to complete his evidence before he could formally respond to the allegations against him.
Commission chairman, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, was told by Advocate Mike Hellens that he wanted his client, also implicated in Dukwana's evidence, to not be mentioned. Hellens said the evidence was collected "recklessly" and could cause harm to his client.
"Chairperson you are aware of the client I represent, it is incumbent on this commission to investigate responsibly and hear evidence that must not be wantingly speculative...the evidence of my client will be widely published all over. We therefor have to ensure in our admission that widely speculative evidence is not placed before this commission even if my client were to be given a right to cross-examine and demonstrate the evidence to be untrue. The harm would be caused by speculative evidence prima facie so. It [Dukwana's evidence] is blatantly speculative and unsupported by any documents," said Hellens.
The evidence, said Hellens, was like a "running scandal sheet".
Dukwana revealed last year that he was offered a R2 million ''monthly fee'' by the Gupta family to sign off a contract for a ''New City'' or ''City of Tomorrow'' that was to be built at the Lejweleputswa District Municipality in the Free State. The project was expected to take up to 10 years to complete, but has since failed to take off. Dukwana said he turned down the offer.
Magashule fired him from the provincial Cabinet in 2012 for allegedly refusing to cooperate with the fugitive family.
Dukwana's Advocate, Smanga Sithini, argued that his client was helping the commission with its constitutional mandate and should not be stopped from giving evidence, and that no one should be treated with kid gloves.
Zondo said he would read Hellen's unidentified client's affidavit and return with a way forward.
African News Agency (ANA)