Zondo Commission evidence leader rubbishes Mbalula’s claims

Fikile Mbalula. Image: @fikilembalula/Twitter

The transport minister allegedly took part in a radio interview where he claimed to have no prior knowledge that Thursday’s witness would provide testimony that implicates him.

In response to a statement in which transport minister Fikile Mbalula claims to have no prior knowledge that Thursday’s witness at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture will provide testimony that implicates him, commission evidence leader Vas Soni has rubbished Mbalula’s claims.

“I have learnt with surprise through the media, that evidence will be led before the Zondo Commission in the coming days, which includes testimony of the former chairperson of the Prasa interim board, Ms Khanyisile Kwenyama, [whose] evidence will implicate me,” read part of Mbalula’s statement.

He went on to “categorically state” that this is the first time he has become aware that a witness before the commission wishes to implicate him.

“Rule 3.3 of the commission requires that I be informed should any witness intend to implicate me, and I be furnished with such witness’s statement to that effect.”

The minister further claims that no such witness statement has been received.

“I have therefore instructed my lawyers to write to the commission and address this worrisome development. The matter of the development of the administrator is before Cape Town High Court and will be heard in the coming week.”

He concluded stating that he is ready to present himself before the commission “in line with due process and put paid the lies and slander Ms Kwenyana intends to present”.

Speaking during this morning’s proceedings, Soni stated that he wished to place a matter on record in response to a radio interview Mbalula gave prior to the commencement of Thursday’s hearings in which he complained about not receiving any affidavit.

“Kweyama’s affidavit was served on Mbalula through email address used previously with no complaints,” said Soni in reference to the affidavits of two previous witnesses which were sent to Mbalula.

According to Soni, in addition to the normal email addresses used by investigators, one of the investigators went in search of additional address to send the necessary documents to.

Soni explained that the aforementioned additional affidavits that were sent to Mbalula were also sent to these addresses.

Soni concluded by adding that his team has communicated with the ministry’s office this morning and that all the relevant affidavits have been forwarded to the office which confirmed receipt. He further urged that the proceedings not be sidetracked by Mbalula’s public outcries.

(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)

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