News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
15 Mar 2019
10:13 am

WATCH: Duduzane Zuma will testify at state capture inquiry, his legal counsel confirms

Makhosandile Zulu

Former minister Jonas is back on the witness stand at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday.

Former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas appears at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture as a witness to allegations of bribery by the Gupta family during his tenure at the finance department, Johannesburg, 24 August 2018. Picture: Matthews Baloyi / ANA

Advocate Piet Louw, the legal counsel of Duduzane Zuma, former president Jacob Zuma’s son, told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday that the young Zuma would testify at the commission and give evidence that was completely different to that given by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.

Before the tea break, Jonas denied opposing views made by the young Zuma, Ajay Gupta, and Fana Hlongwane in their affidavits.

Jonas testified that he met the three men at the Gupta residence at Saxonwold where he was offered a ministerial position and money and later threatened if he did not cooperate, with one of the Gupta brothers present at the meeting of October 2015.

The three men – Zuma, Gupta, and Hlongwane – said in their affidavits that Jonas agreed to changing the meeting venue from a hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg, to a more private one, knowing it was the Gupta residence where it would be moved to, and that at the residence a Gupta brother briefly came into the room where Jonas met with Zuma and Hlongwane, but that it could not have been Ajay Gupta because he was not at the residence but at an office.

Jonas said all of this was untrue and maintained that his evidence was valid. He explained that he had always stated that he was not certain whether it was Ajay Gupta who was present at the meeting but was sure “one of the Gupta brothers” was present throughout the proceedings and had made the offers, a matter which Ajay denies in his affidavit.

Jonas is back on the witness stand at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday.

Jonas will be cross-examined by the legal teams of the son of former president Jacob Zuma, Duduzane, and Fana Hlongwane.

Jonas alleged that he was offered R600 million if he accepted the position of finance minister which was held by Nhlanhla Nene at the time, 2015, and R600,000 paid in cash on the spot.

He claimed to have met with Duduzane, businessman Hlongwane, and the eldest of the Gupta brothers, Ajay.

Last year, the chairperson of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, ruled that the young Zuma could cross-examine Jonas.

However, he also ruled that while the Guptas may cross-examine witnesses, including Jonas, ex-MP Vytjie Mentor, and fired government spin doctor Themba Maseko, they had to do so in South Africa.

Two of the Gupta brothers had suggested that either the commission should travel to an overseas location where they could safely testify or that their testimonies should be done via video link.

Zondo rejected both suggestions, saying about the former that he sees no reason why the commission should incur the costs of travelling to a location outside of the country for the brothers to appear before the commission.

Jonas, Maseko, and Mentor gave explosive testimony at the commission, implicating the Guptas, Zuma, and Duduzane in the state capture saga.

The Zondo-led commission is investigating allegations of undue influence the controversial Guptas had over Zuma, his cabinet ministers, and leaders at state enterprises to do their bidding for state tenders worth billions of rand.

Watch the proceedings live:

(Additional reporting, ANA)

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