RTI probe: dept wants phone records

2013-05-15 00:00

THE provincial Transport Department’s legal representative has asked for permission to go through the phone records of witness Nonhlanhla Innocentia Mlambo.

Advocate Ravi Padayachee requested this during cross-examination yesterday at the commission of inquiry into an ill-fated recruitment exercise of the Road Traffic Inspectorate at Harry Gwala Stadium in December last year. The commission is sitting at the Premier’s Office in Pietermaritzburg.

Padayachee wants to ask Mlambo’s service provider for her phone records because he believes that she was in contact with Nkosinathi Kubheka, who was a participant in the recruitment exercise on December 27, and whom Mlambo had gone to support on that day.

“It is clear that you have been communicating with Nkosinathi yesterday. You have been talking to Nkosinathi to manipulate evidence because you knew that we would be questioning you,” said Padayachee.

Mlambo confirmed that Kubheka had told her that the Transport Department legal team wanted to ask Kubheka questions about her.

“I told him that he can tell you whatever you wanted to hear, but I had not been in contact with him yesterday; but you can phone him to tell him not to phone me,” she said.

Mlambo agreed to the request for phone records and asked that the evidence leader, Sithembiso Kunene, be part of the process, saying she did not trust Padayachee and his team to scrutinise her private life without someone whom she trusted being present.

Padayachee said he could not trust her testimony because it contradicted that of 20 others who had participated in the fitness tests that day and he wanted to prove that she had indeed been lying to the commission.

During her testimony, Mlambo raised her voice when Padayachee called her “a bright spark”.

“Do not call me names because even yesterday you did the same thing,” she shouted.

The chairperson, Advocate Thandi Norman, instructed her not to raise her voice.

Padayachee also suggested that Mlambo had not fainted and had not been treated at the high care unit of Edendale Hospital as she had testified earlier on.

She insisted that what she told the commission was the truth.

The inquiry continues today.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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