Zondo to decide on the cross examination of witnesses soon
The Guptas, Duduzane Zuma, former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown and Hawks officer Mandla Mtolo will know this week if they will be allowed to cross-examine witnesses and present evidence at the state capture commission.
The commission of inquiry into state capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is expected to decide whether or not it will allow witnesses to be cross-examined by parties implicated during testimonies by former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, former Government Communication and Information System director-general Themba Maseko as well as former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.
Zondo said he would advise in due course when he will make his decision, but suggested he may indicate early next week.
Ajay Gupta wants to cross-examine Mentor and Maseko, according to his lawyer, Mike Hellens.
Hellens said Ajay Gupta disputed and denied Mentor and Maseko’s evidence.
“The statement of Mr Ajay Gupta raises clear disputes of fact underpinned by his own evidence and demonstrating the need to test the reliability of the witness that is giving the evidence before the commission.”
According to Hellens, without cross-examination the commission would be deprived of an essential tool for the testing of the reliability and veracity of the evidence
The Guptas are refusing to appear in person, saying they prefer to testify via video conference.
“My clients take the attitude that they are facing the Hawks who are incompetent in their investigating powers as demonstrated in those two cases and the judgments and a NPA that wielded its power with reckless incompetence, charging people who should never been charged and having their case exposed in their asset forfeiture applications as being wholly unfounded,” he said.
Zuma’s lawyer, Dawie Joubert, told Zondo his client would not appear due to his pending trial for allegedly facilitating the offer of the finance minister position to Jonas allegedly made by the controversial family.
Other implicated parties who want to cross-examine witnesses are Hawks Captain Mandla Mtolo and former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown. The commission resumes tomorrow.
The Sunday Independent