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Treasury official Willie Mathebula first witness at #StateCaptureInquiry

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

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

Published Aug 20, 2018


Johannesburg - National Treasury official Willie Mathebula will be the first witness to take the stand at the state capture inquiry on Tuesday morning. 

Mathebula is expected to thrash out the procurement processes and rules at National Treasury. 

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

It has been alleged that the Gupta family used its relationship with Zuma to score business deals with state-owned enterprises. Billions were allegedly paid out to the family in suspicious business deals involving government officials. 

The first day of the inquiry was spent on outlining the terms of reference which will be guided by the State of Capture report released in 2016 by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. 

Advocate Thandi Norman outlined the reports that have been received by the commission, one of the reports is the Public Protector's State Capture report. State entities that have been implicated in the report include; Eskom, Denel, SAA, and Transnet. 

Norman said other government departments including National Treasury were in the process of producing reports relevant to the commission's work but have yet to be submitted. The commission has admitted various reports which include Parliament's portfolio committees’ reports on Eskom and the department of home affairs. 

Lawyers representing various individuals implicated in the inquiry asked for more time to assess documents and to prepare for cross-examination.

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


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. 

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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. 


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Lawyer Welcome Lisenga, who represents former minister of state-owned enterprises Lynne Brown, said his client had not received any notice but requests that he be 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. 


The first session of the inquiry is expected to take two weeks but could run longer depending on any delays. 

Other witnesses expected to appear on the first session of the inquiry include former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, former minister Vytie Mentor, former head of government communications Themba Maseko and GCIS official Phumla Williams. 


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