Thursday , August 11 2022

Meandos aside, Duduzane and Jonas agree on three key …


60-minute attempts to quell the accusations of Mupisio Jonas for Gupta's bribery during a cross-examination at the State Capture Committee were put to sleep in less than 10 minutes, when former deputy senior deputy finance minister Vim Trengove returned the meandows to basics.

Vim Trengrove, senior adviser to the former deputy finance minister, Msbisci Jonas, claimed that the conflicted versions of Jonas and Zuma junior about a controversial meeting on October 23, 2015 – that Brother Gupta allegedly offered to Jonas as finance minister in exchange for the R600-m – remain "very narrow" as follows:

  • Usually they met in Hiatt;
  • It was customary to take them later to the Guptas villa of Sakonvold; i
  • Usually, Gupta's brother was in the mix.

The only difference is what actually happened during that meeting.

That is, said Trengove, the only thing he did not mention senior lawyer Duduzane Zuma, Piet Louv, during a cross-examination on Friday morning.

Jonas previously testified that one of the Gupta brothers, in the presence of Duduzane, allegedly offered him a cash payment of 600,000 R600 and that he followed 600 million in exchange for the release of senior officials in the National Treasury.

Duduzane's version says that the purpose and theme of the meeting in Saxonwald was that a common friend, a controversial businessman, Fan Hlongwana, tried to blackmail Jonas.

Bizarno, Duduzane, whom Jonas never met until October, is now installed to intervene between two "old friends".

Jonas told the Commission that Hlongwana had never blackmailed him, nor had he ever accused a businessman of doing so.

Jonas argued that if there were rumors about the blackmailers, he could solve it directly with Hlongwen through a regular phone call.

In his re-examination of Jonas, Trengove, after a rather intense cross-examination, said: "They want to believe that the only purpose (meeting) is about blackmailing rumors."

It was supposedly the reason why Hlongwana "asked" Jonas to meet with Duduzane.

Hlongwen, who had successfully applied for permission to test Jonas, did not appear on Friday morning.

The Commission heard that several notifications confirming the date for cross-examination were not answered either by Hlongwane or his legal representatives.

And, as it turns out, Duduzane is not on the same page as Guptas at this meeting with Sakonvold.

Trengove reminded the Commission that Guptas issued a press release shortly after Jonas published a bribe request in 2016.

They said that Jonas lied and "to be absolutely clear, there was no meeting at all," Trengove said, concluding his short answer to cross-examination.

The beginning of the cross-examination earlier that day, Lawyer Louv for Duduzane, said that the truth of Jonas's myths must be investigated because they formed a "genesis" of reports about the condition of prisoners of the public protector and informed about the task of the state capture Commission.

Louv, among other things, pierced why Jonas's version of the meeting and the story of the bribe before the Zondo commission differed from what he initially said in the statement to the public protector.

Jonas said that this was because it was time for another time, that his response to PP was then made in a hurry, and some of the information was combined with a picture of the inaccurate picture of the event he attempted to describe.

Louv several times fed Jonas on some of those differences that included that he had talked to Duduzane several times before the meeting on October 23, and that Duduzane was talking to him for the first time to invite him to attend the Guptas South African Year of the Festivities.

Louv pushed Jonas out for agreeing to meet with Duduzane, not knowing the purpose, to agree to move their meeting into an unidentified "private" location nearby and to go there in Duduzane's car instead of his – I really do not know why.

Jonas had previously testified that Duduzane had told him that he had some people to meet.

He admitted that he drove to Saxonold with Duduzane, leaving his official car and his security.

He said it was not so strange that the car of Duduzane was closer at the time.

Louv said it was not disputed that Jonas went there in the car of Duduzane, but that what was controversial was Jonas's motive to go with him.

"Did you ask what the purpose of the meeting was? "Jonas said it was not.

Another aspect of Jonas' testimony that came under intense control was about the behavior of senior Havks officials who allegedly attempted to imprison Gupt's imprisonment investigation.

Louv asked Jonas about the long time between the date of the alleged bribe offer (October 2015) and its release in March 2016.

In addition to former finance ministers, Law Gordana and Nhlanhle Nene, Jonas said that he had not told anyone about it by then.

"The situation at that time was very hostile, hardly I had trust in the police, the Havka and the intelligence services, "said Jonas.

Then Louv devoted himself to a series of events and why Jonas did not report serious allegations of bribery to law enforcement authorities and did not cooperate with the Havks in their efforts to get a statement from him when she appeared in public – including discussions between Jonas and the former boss Havks, Berning Ntlemez and Major General Zintle Mononopi

Jonas testified that at the time he had no confidence in Havka and told the Commission that Mononopi, when he allegedly first contacted him to arrange a meeting, allegedly said: "Listen, I just want to finish this question. And I need a statement from you.

Mononopi was also originally granted permission to cross-examine Jonas, but the Commission was told that that application had since been withdrawn.

Completing his additional examination, Trengove reminded the Commission that the appointment of Nflmezza for the chief of Havks was separated last year. A lot of the Supreme Court in Pretoria, following the Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation, have considered and postponed Nlmmez's appointment on the grounds that it was not appropriate.

Nmlmeza, said Trengove, was actually behind a "catastrophic" attempt to prosecute former Finance Minister Pravin Gordan.

* The commission continues on Monday when Denel's investigation begins. DM


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