NATIONAL NEWS - The chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has postponed sine die the testimony of an engineer at Mhlathuze Water who was implicated by a witness testifying in camera at the commission for alleged money laundering.
The commission heard in February from Mr X that the engineer, Mboniseni Majola, allegedly used the former’s company to move funds, which amounted to the alleged looting of Mhlathuze Water.
Zondo granted an application by Majola’s legal representative, advocate Francious Roets, for a postponement and directed that Majola should on or before 14 August deliver an affidavit dealing with the topics previously furnished to him by the commission and give his full version of events in relation to Mr X’s evidence at the inquiry.
Roets told Zondo that as Majola’s legal representative and team, a concerted effort had been made to obtain the necessary information, statement or documents from their client in order to complete an affidavit to be submitted to the commission.
However, due to Majola’s health and the view of his doctor, Dr Pillay, that he is unwell, this could not be done timeously so as to present an affidavit in response to evidence implicating Majola, Zondo heard.
Roets told Zondo that Majola’s legal team is fully aware of the importance of the work of the commission, the “barrage and plethora” of information it has to deal with, the running costs of the commission and that it cannot “succumb” to the “whims” of witnesses and their legal representatives.
He said Majola’s legal team would have to get an “okay” from his psychiatrist that he can provide a sensible and well-informed statement in order to complete an affidavit to be submitted at the commission.
Zondo said he was concerned that Majola seemed to apply for an application to postpone his appearance at the commission on the eve or on the date of his appearance before the inquiry.
Roets responded by saying he understands Zondo’s concern and assured the chairperson of the commission that he had communicated with his colleagues that they must not be seen to be engaging in delaying tactics and that they will do everything possible that “as a matter of extreme urgency” the necessary information is obtained from Majola.
Zondo expressed his encouragement at Roets’ assurance.
Roets also asked Zondo to direct that Majola’s medical condition be kept confidential.
Evidence leader at the commission, advocate Kate Hofmeyr pointed out to the chair that this was Majola’s second formal postponement application, the first being in February.
Hofmeyr told Zondo that the commission has received confirmation that Majola had again been admitted to hospital, which she said was “an unfortunate state of affairs” because Mr X had implicated him in large scale looting of public funds involving established engineering firms.
Hofmeyr said if true, the allegations levelled against Majola could amount to criminal conduct, which makes Majola’s version of events at the commission of “intense public interest”.
Majola has repeatedly been invited by the commission to submit his affidavit detailing his version of events, however, this has not been forthcoming, the commission heard.
Hofmeyr told Zondo said Majola had refused to deal with topics in Mr X’s evidence which were provided to him before Mr X appeared before the commission.
The commission has adjourned for the day.
Meanwhile, Mr X also implicated in testimony former SAA board chair Dudu Myeni, testifying in February that she allegedly instructed him to transfer R1 million into the bank account of the Jacob Zuma Foundation.
Mr X also told the commission that ahead of his appearance at the inquiry, Myeni allegedly called his daughter to ask: “Why is your father selling us out?”