STATE CAPTURE INQUIRY
Examination of Jonas a juggling act for Zuptas
Lawyers for Duduzane Zuma and the Guptas are understood to have been locked in meetings for most of the weekend
The state capture inquiry will hear on Monday who has applied to cross-examine former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas about his damning testimony and whether the Guptas, former president Jacob Zuma or his son Duduzane are among them.
The inquiry’s legal counsel, Paul Pretorius, said the commission received several applications to cross-examine Jonas and will hand them over to deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo on Monday.
The identities of those applying to cross-examine Jonas remain unknown. The Guptas’ attorney, Rudi Krause, said on Friday the family had yet to decide whether they would bring an application.
Lawyers for Duduzane Zuma and the Guptas are understood to have been locked in meetings for most of the weekend.
If the Guptas or the Zumas decide to counter through cross-examination Jonas’s account of how a Gupta brother allegedly tried to bribe and threaten him into taking then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s job, they will have to take to the stand to back up their claims. If they do not do so, their cross-examination of Jonas could be dismissed as legally improper and unfair to him.
If the Guptas, Duduzane or even Zuma himself fail to apply to cross-examine Jonas after being given an opportunity to do so, Zondo may draw a negative inference against them.
As yet, it remains unclear whether Zondo will decide to grant implicated or interested parties the right to cross-examine Jonas or other witnesses. Insiders to the process believe that decision will be governed by "whether the information they offer can assist him in getting to the truth, not whether it will assist them".
Duduzane Zuma said last week that he will testify at the state capture inquiry if he is required to do so.
He maintained that Jonas has not told the truth about his alleged October 2015 meeting with a Gupta brother.
During his evidence, Jonas portrayed Duduzane as the person who had arranged the meeting and who, in his mind, appeared to be aligned with the meeting’s corrupt purpose.
Jonas stated that Duduzane Zuma and arms deal adviser Fana Hlongwane were within earshot when the Gupta brother threatened to kill him should he disclose their alleged meeting.
Jonas said he had made it clear he was "not interested in becoming the minister of finance". He said Duduzane Zuma and Hlongwane were "in the room, but just kept quiet, like they don’t exist" when the Gupta brother attempted to bribe him.
Duduzane Zuma has been charged with corruption, but is adamant that he is innocent.
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor will take the stand on Monday to describe the Guptas’ alleged offer of then public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan’s position.