Former minister Nomvula Mokonyane’s personal assistant, Sandy Thomas, has been warned to show up to the commission of inquiry into state capture to give testimony on time or “run the risk of facing criminal charges”.
Thomas was issued with a summons to appear on Tuesday at 09:00 but she only arrived later in the day. The commission’s chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, postponed her testimony and told her she should return on Monday.
Zondo said the fact she had come to the commission after the time she had been requested to arrive was “unacceptable”.
When she appeared before Zondo on Tuesday at 14:00, her lawyers requested a postponement, arguing they had received a Rule 3.3 notice on 19 August.
A 3.3 notice stipulates the commission’s legal team must notify someone “within a reasonable time before [a] witness gives evidence who may be implicated by [a] witness”. The person affected will then have an opportunity to apply to cross-examine the witness.
The lawyers asked Zondo to postpone the proceedings until 2 September.
However, Zondo said he was informed by the commission’s investigators and the legal team that Thomas had not been co-operating.
“My understanding from the legal team is that previous attempts that have been made to obtain an affidavit from your client by the commission have not been successful.
“She has not been very co-operative. That’s the impression I have from what I have been told. That is why a summons was issued to say she needs to come here and be questioned because she didn’t seem to be co-operating in terms of filing any affidavit.”
He added the commission’s legal team had been attempting to get an affidavit from Thomas but failed.
“The commission does not have time, we are running out of time, we can’t be postponing and postponing,” Zondo said.
“It is unacceptable for someone to receive a summons and without having been excused first stays away.”
He postponed her testimony to Monday and she was asked for file her affidavit by Friday.
Earlier, the commission heard testimonies from former Bosasa employee Bongiwe Dube who claimed that during the December holidays, he was informed by a company called FoodBoys that there was a “big order” of about R17 000 worth of meat.
When she contacted her senior, she was told the order was meant for Mokonyane. But she also told the commission she never saw the order actually being delivered to the former minister.
The commission also heard from a guesthouse owner who said they hosted Mokonyane’s 40th birthday celebration in 2003, contradicting her previous testimony.
Frederik Hendrik Coetzee told the commission the event was organised by former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi.
Early last year, Agrizzi alleged Mokonyane had received cash payments from Bosasa.
He said the company also paid for maintenance at her home, including a garden service, repairs to electric fencing and the installation of a new camera system.
Agrizzi alleged the former minister received R50 000 per month in cash from Bosasa and she had received gifts, including meat and expensive alcohol, for her family.
However, during her testimony, Mokonyane repeatedly said allegations made against her by Agrizzi, were extremely defamatory and full of contradictions.