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State capture: Justice system 'in crisis' discouraged Jonas to come forward

It's emerged that the meeting at which Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas was allegedly offered a bribe by the Guptas took place in 2015, but he only came forward in 2016.

Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas at the State Capture inquiry on 24 August 2018.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas says he took a long time to come forward about a Gupta bribe because he didn't have confidence in the criminal justice system.

Jonas had testified at the State of Capture Commission Inquiry in Johannesburg on Friday.

It's emerged that the meeting at which he was allegedly offered a bribe to take the post of finance minister and work with the Guptas took place in 2015, but Jonas only came forward in 2016.

“I’ve been in government, I’ve seen cases being submitted, charges being sent and nothing happened. I was very clear that what you have was a criminal justice system that was in a crisis.”

He says he simply left the meeting.

“I asked Mr [Jacob] Zuma to take me back to my car. Mr [Ajay] Gupta said he wished to continue the meeting with Mr Zuma and another car would take me to the airport. At the end of the meeting, Mr Gupta repeated that they had information on me and if I suggested that the meeting had occurred, they would kill me.”

WATCH: Meeting between Jonas & Guptas

HAWKS SABOTAGE

The former deputy finance minister has accused the Hawks of trying to dupe him into signing a false statement.

He says the Hawks then attempted to deliberately sabotage the investigation into the Guptas.

Jonas says he didn't have confidence that the Hawks would pursue the case.

“In that affidavit, we also stated upfront that since the stated intention was to kill the case, we think the media statement was enough to do that and it was still part of our view that we could not continue to interact."

At the same time, Jonas says the role of Treasury was weakened under Zuma's administration.

Jonas says there were moments when the borrowing authority of the Treasury was undermined, and it became difficult to perform its constitutional role.

“The reality is that it was becoming untenable to actually sit in an environment where your constitutional role is so constrained and there’s hostility all the time against you.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)