Controversial Durban businessman Thoshan Panday believes he was prejudiced after the state capture commission sent him the wrong annexures. The documents intended for him, were erroneously sent to his mother.
His lawyer wrote to the commission to demand that the issue be brought to the attention of commission chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
It seems that the resignation of an administrative staff member at the commission led to the error.
Evidence leader Susan Wentzel explained the scenario: “What has transpired [is that] at 11:00 today (Wednesday), a letter was received by the secretariat dated yesterday, but only received today from Panday’s attorney.”
“What the complaint is, is that the Rule 3.3 notice that was served on December 19 contained the incorrect annexures. The annexures that should have gone to Panday went to his mother and those that were supposed to be sent to his mother were sent to Panday.”
The letter stated, in summary, that: “I’m prejudiced by the fact that I have the wrong annexures and you must draw this to the attention of the chair before the proceedings commence”.
The letter was only received on Wednesday.
Wentzel further explained that Panday’s attorney wrote to the commission on December 19, 2019 to ask for the correct annexures. However, due to a resignation, the e-mail was not “picked up”.
“The person responsible for the e-mails resigned on the 20th and a new person came in therefore the e-mail of the 19th was not picked up and it was not responded to,” she said.
Zondo, who did not seem impressed by the revelation, asked why the new secretariat did not pick up the e-mail.
“I have previously said that the putting together of annexures in the bundles, and a statement to ensure the correct sequence and to ensure that the correct annexures [are] attached, is the responsibility of the evidence leader or the member of the legal team responsible for that matter.”
He added that if a member of the legal team takes a witness statement, the correct annexures should be attached before it is handed to the commission’s administrative staff.
“They (the administrative staff) must not have to decipher which annexure belongs to which statement,” he said.
Wentzel assured Zondo that the correct annexures have since been sent to the implicated parties.
Panday is implicated in evidence relating to the alleged capture of law enforcement agencies.
The commission of inquiry into state capture is currently hearing evidence from retired Colonel Johannes van Loggerenberg about his role in the investigation of Panday.
The National Prosecuting Authority reinstated corruption charges against Panday and Colonel Navin Madhoe relating to an alleged attempt to bribe suspended KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen to “backdate a report relating to the investigation about irregular procurement processes in respect of accommodation during the 2010 World Cup”.
The inquiry continues.