Zondo mulls issuing summons to charge no-shows at State Capture commission

Justice Raymond Zondo said more and more witnesses implicated in serious allegations are making excuses not to appear the commission.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Justice Raymond Zondo is considering issuing summons so those who don’t appear before the state capture commission of inquiry to be charged with a criminal offence.

He said more and more witnesses implicated in serious allegations were making excuses not to appear the commission.

Former Free State human settlements procurement director John Matlakala was a no show on Tuesday.

In the past week, several witnesses have failed to appear before the Zondo commission.

Retired Hawks captain Edward Zuma said he had gone for a COVID-19 test after a member of his family contracted the virus but when the legal team wanted to confirm his results and arrange for him to testify remotely, he was nowhere to be found.

Colonel Welcome Mhlongo made an application not to appear saying the commission still hadn’t given him a sound recording implicating him.

Then came former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa board chair judge Tintswalo Makhubele who initially said that as a person occupying a high office, she was too busy to consult her lawyers and then accused the legal team of bias.

Her testimony was postponed to Wednesday evening.

The commission wants Matlakala to explain how a joint venture appointed to audit asbestos houses in the Free State for R255 million was able to subcontract another company for R52 million, which subcontracted another one for R24 million rand. But he too was a no show.

Zondo is now fed up and wants to compel all witnesses to appear by issuing summons

The commission has already spent R700 million and the High Court in Pretoria granted it a final extension to the end of March 2021.

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