Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has expressed concern that witnesses appearing before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture continue enduring attacks and assassination attempts by some members of society in a bid to stop them testifying.
Zondo’s remarks come after the attempted assassination this weekend of a key witness who has testified on Transnet-related evidence.
The Transnet security official, only identified as Witness 1, survived a hail of bullets after a man on a motorbike opened fire on his car in Meredale, south of Johannesburg.
Witness 1, who was a bodyguard for Transnet former group CEO Brian Molefe, has given explosive evidence that Molefe received a large sum of cash in a leather backpack from the Gupta family at their Saxonwold residence.
Zondo made the comments before the start of cross examination of Witness 3 by senior counsel Richard Solomon on behalf of former public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba.
Witness 3 has given Zondo an account of how Gigaba was allegedly presented with piles of cash from 2009 to 2018 by the Guptas at their Saxonwold family residence.
“It is concerning that these attacks continue on witnesses – people who want to assist the nation in what this commission is investigating,” Zondo said.
“It is completely unacceptable that they are being targeted and attacked, with attempts made to kill them. I will ask law enforcement agencies to deal with these attacks.
“Those who seek to silence witnesses seem determined to continue to deter future witnesses from giving evidence at this commission.
“I applaud the courage of various people who, despite the attacks, nevertheless have come to this commission, despite the risk to their lives and families.
“I also applaud those who come here despite intimidation and criminality to silence people who want to come to this commission.
“I thank Witness 3, that he has once again made himself available despite the attempted killing of witnesses.”
The Hawks are investigating the brazen daylight attempt on the life of Witness 1.