Gupta brothers and Duduzane Zuma apply to cross-examine state capture witnesses
The Zondo commission’s legal team and the lawyers of those implicated are in talks over whether they will have to testify if they want to cross-examine
Two of the Gupta brothers and former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane have applied to cross-examine witnesses at the state capture inquiry.
Advocate Mike Hellens for Ajay Gupta said his client was applying to cross-examine former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor and former GCIS head Themba Maseko.
Both testified that they had met Ajay Gupta and that he had made unlawful requests.
Mentor told the commission that Ajay Gupta had offered her a ministerial job on condition that she terminate the South African Airways route to India. Maseko alleged that Ajay Gupta told him to ensure GCIS’s R600m budget was spent on Gupta media companies.
Hellens has asked Zondo to make a ruling on whether an implicated party must testify if they want to cross-examine witnesses.
Ajay Gupta, his brother Rajesh and Duduzane Zuma have applied to cross-examine former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.
Jonas accused the Gupta brothers and Zuma of offering him a R600m bribe and the position of finance minister before Nhlanhla Nene was removed.
Controversial businessman Fana Hlongwane and Lakela Kaunda have also applied to cross-examine Mentor. Two Hawks officials — Mandla Mtolo and Maj-Gen Zinhle Mnonopi — also want to cross-examine Mentor and Jonas.
Former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown has also indicated that she wants to apply to cross-examine witnesses, despite not yet being directly implicated in any testimony.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who is heading the commission, told her lawyer that her application "might not be properly considered" until she is implicated.
The commission adjourned for 30 minutes so that legal representatives for those implicated can meet with the commission’s legal team to discuss a way forward for the applications.
Legal teams have asked that the matter of the applications be dealt with as soon as possible.
Current GCIS acting head Phumla Williams will continue giving testimony after the break.
Following a meeting between Zondo, the commission's legal team and lawyers for the implicated parties, a way forward was decided on. Zondo has given all legal counsels until Tuesday at 10am to file written submissions to the secretary of the commission.
The commission chair is likely to hear the applications to cross-examine witnesses on Wednesday at 10am; however, this may be moved to Thursday, depending on discussions between the commission's legal team and lawyers for the witnesses — Mentor, Maseko and Jonas — on whether they want to be present during the application hearings.
The commission's legal team has until noon on Tuesday to give Zondo feedback on this.