Zondo not impressed with Gordhan's no show excuse for Moyane's cross-examination
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo says Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan's excuse of being preoccupied with Cabinet matters was not sufficient reasoning for his cross-examination to be postponed.
Zondo was on Wednesday forced to postpone Gordhan's cross-examination by former Sars commissioner Tom Moyane's legal representatives. Moyane was granted leave to cross-examine Gordhan in November last year.
The session was scheduled for Wednesday, but Gordhan's legal representatives pleaded with Zondo that his appearance must be postponed as he was busy with Cabinet matters.
Zondo said Gordhan's excuse was not sufficient as the commission was pressed for time and excuses linked to work schedules were hampering the inquiry's ability to meet its deadline. He also said President Cyril Ramaphosa had indicated that ministers had been told to prioritise appearances at the inquiry if they were asked to appear.
"Cabinet appointments on their own cannot be more important than appearing at the commission. There needs to be something more than Cabinet commitments. They are like work, if everyone says they have commitments then the commission would not be able to complete its work. The president has told me that whenever anyone is required to cooperate with the commission, they have to co-operate," Zondo said.
The chairperson reiterated a comment he made a few weeks ago after the commission received numerous postponement applications. He said he may have no choice but to issues summonses for everyone who needs to appear to ensure that they do so. Gordhan wanted his appearance to be postponed until August 31 or until a date agreed upon by all parties.
"It may be that our solution is that summonses are issued for everyone who has to appear at the commission. I am not going to postpone this to a date agreed on by all parties. I will postpone it to a date I will fix, but I am not happy. We want to finish the work of the commission, so we have to use all the days we have properly," Zondo said.
Gordhan had appeared at the inquiry in 2018 and implicated Moyane in his testimony. He accused Moyane of acting to serve the state capture agenda when he opened a criminal case against him regarding the establishment of the Sars “rogue unit”.
A date for Gordhan's cross-examination will be announced by Zondo.
The commission continues to hear Prasa related evidence.