Zondo: Those wanting to cross-examine witnesses must be ready to take stand

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor is expected to continue with her testimony this morning.

Deputy Chief Justice Zondo opens proceedings during the first public hearing on state capture allegations in Johannesburg on 20 August 2018. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - As the state capture commission prepares to deal with applications to cross-examine witnesses on Tuesday morning, deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has made it clear that those who want to question the witnesses, that they too must be prepared to take the stand.

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor is expected to continue with her testimony this morning.

On Monday, she told the commission that former President Jacob Zuma’s advisor, Lakela Kaunda, called her to arrange a meeting with the Gupta family where she was offered a ministerial position.

Kaunda has denied this and has applied to cross-examine Mentor.

The two witnesses, Vytjie Mentor and Mcebisi Jonas, who have testified at the commission so far, have implicated several people, including former President Jacob Zuma, his son Duduzane, his former advisor and the Gupta brothers.

If these individuals apply to give their version of events and cross-examine witnesses they run the risk of being forced to also take the stand.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo: "If somebody is going to apply for leave to cross-examine a witness, they've got to put up their version and it is not going to be good enough to just give a denial."

The commission’s Advocate Vincent Maleka says that it is not in the public interest to simply grant the right to cross-examine without an obligation on those implicated to put their version of events forward so that it can be tested.

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