Former chairperson of the interim board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Judge Tintswalo Makhubele is expected to take the witness stand at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday.
This after chairperson of the commission Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo recently directed Makhubele to submit an affidavit to the commission and appear before him.
Zondo had questioned Makhubele’s legal representative why the judge had failed to prepare a responding affidavit since February this year.
He had directed Makhubele to submit the affidavit on or before the close of business on Wednesday, 29 July.
Zondo issued the directive after hearing an application from Judge Makhubele’s legal representative, G Shakoane, senior counsel, for a postponement of her testimony, an application which the chair said had no merit.
Zondo said it was unfortunate that he found it necessary to issue a directive against a judge.
He said the postponement of Judge Makhubele’s testimony has caused the commission a lot of inconvenience.
On the day of the application for a postponement, Zondo acknowledged that Judge Makhubele could not have anticipated that, according to Shakoane, the “tyre burst” she experienced the day before would result in an accident and thus render her “emotionally” unfit to appear before the commission.
However, Zondo pointed out that Makhubele’s application for a postponement had been planned before the “tyre burst” and all the grounds the application was based on before the accident “don’t reveal any merit whatsoever”.
Makhubele’s affidavit is a response to allegations made at the commission by the group executive of legal risk and compliance at Prasa, Martha Ngoye, and another official at the agency, Fani Dingiswayo, among others.
GroundUp reported that in January 2019, #UnitedBehind lodged a complaint against Judge Makhubele with the Judicial Conduct Committee, which was referred to the Judicial Conduct Tribunal for “investigation and determination”.
The publication reported that according to the complaint, Makhubele engaged in “gross misconduct” during her tenure as chair of the interim board by allegedly being involved in the alleged disruption of the Siyaya litigation.
Siyaya is a company that scored contracts at Prasa, an entity linked to Makhensa Mabunda, one of the individuals Dingiswayo described during his recent testimony at the commission as “holy cows” linked to the agency’s former CEO Lucky Montana, who had undue influence at Prasa, which was a concern.
Watch the proceedings live courtesy of the SABC: