Former Prasa chief executive Lucky Montana has registered his disappointment in Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo in a new six-page letter dated 2 June 2020.
The letter has also been addressed to Honourable Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
According to the letter, these feelings of disappointment in Zondo and hopelessness about the integrity of the state capture commission are based solely on his perception of Zondo’s conduct during the Prasa hearings.
“Your unfortunate statements during the testimony of Popo Molefe and Martha Ngoye, and your terrible treatment of Mr Louis Green were the last straw for me,” wrote Montana in his opening statements.
“You and Mr Soni tried so very hard to force Mr Green to say what you wanted to hear and not the truth,” he wrote, before adding: “It finally dawned on me during Louis Green’s testimony that you, Deputy Chief Justice, had lost your sense of fairness and deep commitment to justice.”
The letter comes after the state capture commission heard from former Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe and suspended general manager for legal services Fani Dingiswayo this past week. This is in addition to the testimonies of Prasa legal risk and compliance group executive Martha Ngoye and former lead investigator of the SIU Clint Oellermann – testimonies that Montana has all labelled as false.
Molefe made a number of allegations; among them were claims that the Prasa board was dissolved because of its investigations into corruption and that the ANC knew about Prasa corruption.
In his letter, Montana went on to state that he has taken issue with what he calls the biased conduct of the commission’s investigative and legal teams. He has reportedly gone as far as writing to the commission to register his concerns.
“This is in regards to their attempts to curtail the full extent of my evidence from my draft submission and protect certain individuals and companies.”
Montana further alleges that the commission “cherry picks” what it wants to hear and “has a perceived outcome of the matter relating to Prasa”.
After stating that the was not bothered by the testimonies of the aforementioned witnesses because he knew that his chance to take the stand and counter their accounts would come, Montana called Zondo out for his “demeanour, cynical laughter and perceived hero-worship of Mr Popo Molefe”.
The former Prasa executive has counted 20 instances in which Zono made “unfounded comments” and added that he has concluded that Zondo is not committed to hearing the facts or the truth.
He concluded the letter by addressing some of the allegations levelled against him during this past week’s testimony including his property dealings and his partnership with Riaan van der Walt.
“I have indicated to the commission that I am currently grieving the death of my mother and will be ready to testify from 21 September 2020… At that time I will demonstrate why I say you are biased and make clear to you why all the sarcastic comments you made were unfounded, provided you do not curtail my evidence.
“I remind you that this commission belongs to all of us, the people of South Africa and may have a huge bearing on the future of our beloved country. We respect you deputy chief justice and your office as an African elder. However, chairing this vitally important commission does not make you God.”