POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: State capture judge to rule on bids to test witnesses
The judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture will continue on Monday, with chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo set to hand down his decision on applications for leave to cross-examine witnesses.
Last week present and former public officials shared explosive details of how government institutions were compromised by high-ranking politicians and private individuals in an effort to loot the state during former president Jacob Zuma’s administration.
The allegations made by former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, former Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) head Themba Maseko and acting government spokesperson Phumla Williams have implicated, among others, the controversial Gupta family and Zuma’s son Duduzane, who have been in the cross hairs of law-enforcement agencies since the extent of state capture was exposed when the Gupta e-mails were leaked in 2017.
Two Gupta brothers and Duduzane were among individuals who have applied to cross-examine the witnesses at the inquiry.
Last week advocate Mike Hellens, for Ajay Gupta, confirmed his client was applying to cross-examine Mentor and Maseko, who testified that he had made unlawful requests to them in relation to their positions in national government.
Zondo will also decide whether Rajesh Gupta and Duduzane will be granted an opportunity to scrutinise evidence supplied by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, who said he was offered millions of rand and the finance minister post by the Gupta family, in a meeting facilitated by Zuma.
Meanwhile in parliament the National Assembly will on Wednesday hold a debate on the economy, which went into a technical recession following a 0.7% contraction in the second quarter of 2018. The debate was requested by DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who wants the legislators to discuss ideas for economic revival.
Another debate, sponsored by the IFP, will be held into the escalating fuel prices. The troubling state of the economy is also likely to feature prominently when President Cyril Ramaphosa gives an oral reply to questions posed by MPs in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday.
Week three at the commission of inquiry into state capture. Here’s what happened.
Deputy President David Mabuza appeared before the NCOP last week, addressing mainly the government’s intentions with regard to land reform, as debates over the matter in the joint constitutional review committee’s oral submissions heated up.
This week the committee, which was mandated to look into the feasibility of a review of section 25 of the constitution to enable expropriation without compensation, will receive a report on more than 700,000 written submissions on the issue. It will also consider a draft report on public hearings held in all nine provinces.
On Tuesday the SA Police Service will brief the portfolio committee on policing about the annual crime statistics.
In Port Elizabeth on Thursday a local court will hear an urgent application brought by the DA and its coalition partners following the ousting of former mayor Athol Trollip through a motion of no confidence recently. The parties want the decision reversed or declared unlawful and void.
The United Democratic Movement’s Mongameli Bobani was elected as mayor after Trollip was ousted.