Nica Richards

By Nica Richards


Zondo refuses Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s leave to cross-examine application

The applications Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo heard included one by AfriForum for leave to cross-examine President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Zondo Commission heard a number of applications for leave to cross-examine on Tuesday, brought by various implicated parties.

The applications Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo heard included one by lobby group AfriForum for leave to cross-examine President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zondo said for a person to apply for leave to cross-examine, they should be implicated by a witness.

“When I read AfriForum’s application, I do not remember seeing anywhere where they are saying President Ramaphosa is going to implicate them,” he added.

AfriForum’s application was refused.

Zondo also heard former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s application for leave to cross-examine former minister of communications Yunus Carrim and former SABC head Lulama Mokhobo.

Zondo said it was not in the interest of justice to grant him leave on matters he raised.

However, his advocate, MacGregor Kufa, said: “People came, they implicated him, and from the manner in which the interrogations were panned out before this forum, it was as if you as the chairperson was likely to accept the version proffered by Mr Carrim and Ms Mokhobo than his version.

“That is why he has a challenge.”

He added if Zondo found that Carrim and Mokhobo lied before the commission, he should direct the inquiry secretary to take his findings to the National Prosecuting Authority for further investigation and prosecute for perjury.

Kufa said: “You can’t have people coming and playing out in the gallery here and lying about individuals’ lives. These are people’s lives.”

Zondo responded: “If cross-examination is not granted, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is one side of the story before the commission. There are still two sides or more sides, and the commission would have regard to all of them”.

He dismissed Motsoeneng’s application for leave to cross-examine.

Mokhobo previously told the commission that two camps had differing views on the infamous SABC and MultiChoice agreement, which scored the public broadcaster R500 million.

She said: “Chair, this was a very sad time at the SABC where there was literally a chasm between the group executives, those led by [Hlaudi] Motsoeneng and myself, not being the most-liked person by the chairperson.”

Motsoeneng was COO at SABC at the time of the agreement.

Meanwhile, Carrim told the commission that in terms of the agreement, MultiChoice would pay the SABC R553 million over a period of five years for its 24-hour news channel and MultiChoice would have exclusive access to the SABC’s archives, Fin24 reported.

He said tensions in the SABC led to what he described as “clandestine meetings”.

“Chair, the SABC had been in contested terrain for years prior to me going there. There were people who reported to other people in powerful places, and they would try to throw their weight around and impose their will,” Carrim added.

During proceedings, some applications were withdrawn, while others were postponed.

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