- The legal team representing the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture could force former president Zuma, his son Duduzane, members of the Gupta family and others to testify
- Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is expected to make a ruling on the issue after hearing arguments from all interested parties
- The inquiry’s legal team has requested that those requesting to cross-examine witnesses should be subjected to cross-examination themselves
The legal team which is representing the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture could force former president Jacob Zuma, his son Duduzane Zuma, members of the Gupta family and as yet other unnamed people to testify at the inquiry.
The inquiry’s powerful legal team led by Advocate Vincent Maleka asked Deputy Chief Justice to compel those who wish to subject witnesses at the inquiry to cross-examination to be forced to deliver testimony and be cross-examined themselves.
Maleka said this was an important step in any legal process and would allow the inquiry to test the alternative version of events. This would inevitably lead to the inquiry receiving more information on which to base its eventual findings.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Zondo is expected to make his ruling later on Tuesday after hearing full arguments from all interested stakeholders in the matter.
The latest development comes after Zondo questioned whether those who had been implicated in state capture and wanted to cross-examine witnesses at the inquiry would be willing to provide the commission with their version of events.
News24.com reported that Zondo said it was important for those implicated in state capture to give a full account of their side of the events. He said the inquiry needed to hear from all possible witnesses.
On Monday the inquiry heard explosive testimony from former African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP) Vytjie Mentor.
Mentor implicated a former Zuma era presidential aid Lakela Kaunda in the state capture scandal. Mentor said Kaunda had personally arranged a meeting between Zuma and Mentor in 2010.
Kaunda’s legal team vehemently refuted these allegations and have applied to cross-examine Mentor. This application triggered the counter application by Maleka.
Mentor’s testimony revolved around her meeting with the Gupta family at their Saxonwold home. She provided a detailed account of the décor of the home and even recalled that she was provided with Indian Chai Tea which she did not enjoy but accepted out of common courtesy.
Mentor said it was during this meeting that the Gupta brothers offered her the position of public enterprises minister. She said the brothers told her that Zuma would be reshuffling his cabinet in the near future and she could form a part of the new cabinet.
Mentor said the Gupta brothers wanted her to promise to drop the Johannesburg to Mumbai SAA route once she was appointed as minister. This would allow one of their companies to service the lucrative route.
Mentor said she was stunned that private individuals knew about a potential cabinet reshuffle before there had been any whisper of it in the media. When she inquired about this she was allegedly told that the brothers usually gave Zuma suggestions for his cabinet and he more often than not followed those suggestions.
Mentor is expected to continue with her testimony on Tuesday.
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