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Lawyer: Without Guptas, state capture inquiry won’t uncover truth

Evidence leaders have argued that the Gupta's cannot be given special treatment by testifying abroad because of their fear of being arrested in this country.

A screengrab of Ajay Gupta. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Ajay Gupta's lawyer has argued that without his evidence, the state capture inquiry will not be able to uncover the truth or come to an appropriate conclusion about the way forward.

Gupta's lawyer says he's prepared to testify but not on South African soil.

Several lawyers argued on Thursday that they should be allowed to cross-examine witnesses who have implicated their clients during the hearings.

Evidence leaders have argued that the Guptas cannot be given special treatment by testifying abroad because of their fear of being arrested in this country.

Ajay Gupta's lawyer Mike Hellens says his client won't testify in South Africa because of what he calls "the incompetence of the Hawks" and "the confusion" over what his client would be charged with but says the Guptas' evidence will be valuable.

“You can only work with evidence in the cross-examination that comes before you. If the Guptas are not before you, you will have a limping recommendation or foundation.”

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has reserved judgment on applications by the Gupta's and Duduzane Zuma to cross-examine witnesses.

The commission resumes on Monday.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)