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State capture commission running out of time for oral hearings - Zondo

Raymond Zondo was responding after another witness, former Eskom board member Zethembe Khoza, failed to file all the necessary affidavits.

FILE: State capture logo. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said the state capture commission was running out of time and it was now forced to continue with oral evidence in the new year.

He said the commission wanted to wrap hearings up this year.

“We don’t have time. The commission is running out of time for oral evidence; we were meant to finish oral evidence by the end of this year, which is effectively next week. But we find ourselves having to go into next year with regard to some witness, so there are serious time constraints.”

Zondo was responding after another witness, former Eskom board member Zethembe Khoza, failed to file all the necessary affidavits.

_WATCH: Zethembe Khoza gives Eskom-related evidence _

He has struggled to explain to the state capture commission why suspended executives were paid to leave if the power utility still needed them - especially when it was already in financial difficulty.

Khoza is testifying on the suspension of executives including Matshela Koko who was later reinstated when his colleagues were not.

The commission has heard previously that the suspended e executives were paid R18 million in total and now Zondo wants to know why the executives were paid to leave.

“We pay people that we have no problem with them coming back so much money. Why are we paying them? If they want to leave, let them leave and resign like everybody, we don’t have to pay them. Why must we pay them?”

Khoza responded that: “I think the challenge is that most of the issues and debates took place on the day they were suspended. There was a lot of disagreements between some of the board members or the chairperson did not agree with the process. But eventually, they agreed with the process.”

He has also been asked whether it’s true that when the board was discussing the suspension of Koko, he called a Gupta brother who in turn called the minister to put a stop to the suspension.

Evidence leader advocate Pule Seleka details the allegation against Khoza.

“At the board meeting where Mr Koko was about to be suspended, you walked out and called one of the Gupta brothers and after you called him, the Gupta brother called then Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. She then called then Eskom board chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane who apparently communicated that Koko should not be suspended.”

Meanwhile, one of the witnesses expected to testify next year is former President Jacob Zuma.

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