AS IT HAPPENED: Jonas endures grilling from Duduzane Zuma's lawyer, Hlongwane's legal team fails to pitch at #StateCaptureInquiry

2019-03-15 13:00

Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas faced heated cross-examination from Duduzane Zuma's legal counsel at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, while Fana Hlongwane's lawyers failed to attend proceedings.

WATCH LIVE: State Capture Inquiry 

(Courtesy of SABC)

Mcebisi Jonas testifies at the state capture commi
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Last Updated at 20:37
15 Mar 13:03

Zondo thanks and excuses Jonas for now. Explains that in the absence of Hlongwane's legal team, there will be no further questioning today. 

Zondo adjourns the commission until Monday.


15 Mar 13:01

15 Mar 13:00

Trengove wraps up his re-examination with Jonas by simply establishing that Ntlemeza was the head of the Hawks (at the time), whose appointment was questioned, and who was also behind the "disastrous" attempt at prosecution of Mr Gordhan. 

Mokoena now addresses Zondo once again and reads correspondence from the legal counsel of Fana Hlongwane into record. It appears that Hlongwane's legal team is not present at the commission today. They were meant to cross-examine Jonas after Duduzane Zuma's legal team.


15 Mar 12:51

15 Mar 12:47

15 Mar 12:47

Advocate Wim Trengove, Jonas' legal counsel, now stands up to re-examine his client on the back of Louw's cross-examination. Trengrove seeks further clarity on some of the issues raised.


15 Mar 12:43

Louw ceases his questioning, says he could go on all day, but that is all he can do in the time allocated. 

Louw confers with Zondo on some procedural matters, and stands down for now.


15 Mar 12:38

Louw questions Jonas about the sequence of events in his interaction with the Hawks, as per his previous statement. 

Louw says that in the affidavit it was recorded that Jonas did not open a case and "you were not a witness, therefore, why give a statement?" 

Louw: "If you're neither a witness and you did not open the case? That is what is recorded over here." 

Jonas: "That's incorrect." 

Louw: "So that's a lie?" 

Jonas "That's incorrect." 

Louw: "A lie, or incorrect?" 

Jonas: "It is completely incorrect. I recall the conversation with General Ntlemeza." 

Louw: "And what did you say to him?" 

Jonas says the conversation was about Ntlemeza saying to him that there is a case, and he didn't explain what it is about. Jonas says he asked what it was about, and Ntlemeza said, "The Guptas". 

Jonas: " I asked him, am I a complainant or am I a witness? He said, that depends on what you are going to say. And we then said, let's arrange a meeting."


15 Mar 12:29

15 Mar 12:25

Jonas addresses a question on his meeting with the Hawks, says he met with Zinhle Mnonopi after a call from Berning Ntlemeza.


15 Mar 12:16

Jonas says he was not the one who leaked the information about the Guptas offering him a R600m bribe. Jonas suggests that maybe the Guptas themselves leaked the info.



15 Mar 12:15

Jonas mentions that it took a lot for him to come forward to the commission, and there are many others out there who still haven't plucked up the courage to do the same. Louw asks him for specifics, who are these people, why haven't they come forward? 

Jonas says he is unable to give specifics, but cites Fikile Mbalula as an example, who has stated that he feared being ridiculed if he approached the commission. 


15 Mar 12:12

15 Mar 12:11

15 Mar 12:07

15 Mar 12:04

Louw establishes with Jonas that he had his own vehicle at the meeting point at the Hyatt, as well as his own bodyguards, so he could have left at any time with them. 

Louw: "You then decide, Mr Jonas, to leave with Mr Zuma to a place you did not know, for a purpose you did not know. Is that correct?" 

Jonas: "Yes, I did." 

Louw: "And you left your protectors behind... and your vehicle?" 

Jonas: "I did."

Jonas informs Louw that he did not always go everywhere with his protectors. "I do travel alone, by the way," says Jonas.


15 Mar 11:59

Jonas maintains that he was not expecting to meet with Hlongwane on the day of the meeting with Duduzane Zuma, and consequently, the Gupta family. 

Louw again questions Jonas on the accuracy of his statement, and Jonas again says he "broadly" looked at it and he was not meant to sign the statement anyway. It was for the purposes of the Public Protector.


15 Mar 11:58

15 Mar 11:56

15 Mar 11:55

15 Mar 11:55

Louw questions Jonas about his friendship with Hlongwane, and asks if they were "old friends" from "the Eastern Cape days". Jonas says they were old friends who knew each other "from the struggle".


15 Mar 11:52

15 Mar 11:48

15 Mar 11:47

15 Mar 11:46

Louw asks Jonas if he looked at the statement in the Public Protector's report before it went out. Jonas says he did look at it, "broadly". Louw reminds Jonas that the report is the very genesis of the state capture commission of inquiry.


15 Mar 11:41

Louw now addresses Jonas, and asks Jonas if he had any lawyers present during his interview with the Public Protector. 

Jonas says yes, he did have an attorney present.


15 Mar 11:37

15 Mar 11:35

Advocate Piet Louw, for Duduzane Zuma, is given 30 minutes to cross-examine Jonas.

Louw now addresses Zondo on the time issue.


15 Mar 11:34

Back from the break, Zondo addresses Duduzane Zuma's legal team, and says he now gives them the opportunity to cross-examine Jonas, but asks them to stick to the allocated time, which has been agreed to.



15 Mar 11:19

Mokoena wraps up his questioning of Jonas. The legal counsel of Duduzane Zuma is expected to cross-examine Jonas after the tea break. 

Zondo adjourns for the short morning break. Back at 11:30.


15 Mar 11:13

15 Mar 11:10

Jonas again reiterates that there was a Gupta brother in the room, "and all of us (Duduzane Zuma and Fana Hlongwane) agree", and that the Gupta brother made the monetary offer.


15 Mar 11:06

Mokoena asks Jonas about the death threats he spoke of during his testimony, and asks Jonas why he did not mention these threats, that he was to be killed if he didn't co-operate with the Guptas, during his interview with the Public Protector. 

Jonas: "At the time, that was probably the most difficult period for us. Even the conversation with the Public Protector - we walked into the conversation, she asked us questions, I was very uncertain even about talking to her. I didn't trust anybody, I didn't trust the police, quite frankly." 

Jonas: "When I went to the commission, I knew that it was a public thing, I have my confidence back, I can say what I want to say. Probably if reprisals come, they will come through legal mechanisms. I outlined earlier on how the Hawks treated us."


15 Mar 10:57

15 Mar 10:53

Jonas disputes the assertion that there was no Gupta brother at the meeting at Saxonwold. Jonas says Mr Gupta remained "for the larger part" of the meeting. Jonas is unable to confirm the name of the Gupta brother, but there was definitely a Gupta present at the meeting, he says.


15 Mar 10:52

15 Mar 10:48

15 Mar 10:44

15 Mar 10:43

15 Mar 10:42

Jonas earlier said he was in Luanda at the time of the first phone call he received from Hlongwane, to say that Duduzane was looking for him.


15 Mar 10:40

Mokoena reads from Hlongwane's statement: "I was subsequently informed by Mr Duduzane Zuma that he convened a meeting at the Rosebank Hyatt on that day. Prior to my arrival, I decided that because of the private nature of the discussions, and possible confrontation, that the Hyatt might not be a suitable venue due to the fact that it was not private. 

"I therefore called Mr Duduzane Zuma, and also spoke to Mr Jonas. I proposed to them that we move the meeting to a more private venue. Mr Duduzane Zuma informed me that he has a venue available in the vicinity. I was provided with the address and arranged to meet with them in a couple of minutes." 

Mokoena proceeds to ask Jonas for clarity on Hlongwane's claims in the statement. 


15 Mar 10:32

15 Mar 10:29

15 Mar 10:29

Advocate Mokoena now moves on to the affidavits of Duduzane Zuma and Fana Hlongwane, in response to Jonas' prior testimony at the commission. 

Jonas says as far as he knows, everything he has shared with the commission is true.


15 Mar 10:26

Jonas says Treasury was essentially "slowing down the pace of destruction".


15 Mar 10:22

Jonas says just before he (and former finance minister Pravin Gordhan) were fired, most of the hostility was centred around the nuclear deal, and also issues of expenditure.

Jonas speaks of some people even being worried for their lives.


15 Mar 10:16

Jonas: "The danger, I would still argue, with the process of state capture is - can I use the term to over-Zuma-nise it? - to think that it was about Zuma. That will be the biggest mistake, because it is bigger, it is structural, it is systemic. Because you will miss the point if you do that."


15 Mar 10:15

15 Mar 10:10

Jonas says understanding the growth strategy, or a "patronage model", depends on a strong and efficient state. It also depends on growth and revenue, says Jonas, and this model is unravelling. This is the basis of corruption, he says.


15 Mar 10:07

Jonas, still on the question of hostility towards Treasury, says that it also comes from differences in political ideology. Jonas says there were calls to move Treasury to the Presidency because the budget is not aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP). Jonas notes that unfortunately, the economy has not grown since 2012.

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