#StateCaptureInquiry: Hawks advocate could be in hot water over 'cover up' statement for Jonas

2018-08-24 18:00
Mcebisi Jonas. (File)

Mcebisi Jonas. (File)

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An advocate accused of drafting a false statement in an attempt to "cover up" the alleged Gupta bribery of former finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, could be in hot water.

The identity of the advocate is not known.

However, advocate Phillip Mokoena, who is part of the legal team at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, pointed out that the advocate went against the values and ethics of the legal profession.

Mokoena, who led Jonas' evidence on Friday, suggested that they wanted to take the matter further.

This, after Jonas told the commission that the Hawks tried to "kill" the case, by preparing a statement contradicting his previous media statement that he was offered R600m if he took the job of finance minister in 2015.

Jonas said he was contacted by then Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza.

Ntlemeza decided to assign Major General Zinhle Mnonopi – the head of serious corruption investigation – to the state capture case opened by political parties, the DA and COPE.

"Mnonopi said this was a DA matter and that I did not want to help the DA and they want to kill the matter," Jonas testified.

Jonas said Mnonopi wanted him to sign a prepared false draft statement to say that he was not a witness to corruption, but he was not willing to do so.

"The statement was settled by an advocate. Was the identity of the advocate revealed?" Mokoena asked Jonas.

Although Jonas responded that the name was revealed, he could not recall it.

Mokoena asked him to "take the necessary steps" to come up with the name.

Jonas also detailed his apparent meeting with one of the Gupta brothers at the family mansion in Saxonwold in October 2015, and events that followed the meeting.

He said a Gupta brother threatened to kill him if he turned down the job of finance minister.

READ MORE: 'We are in control of everything' - Jonas on what Gupta brother told him

Jonas said there was palpable hostility towards Treasury on a range of issues.

He cited examples of people who had issues with budgets and attempts to break Treasury down into components.

"It was increasingly becoming difficult to perform the constitutional role precisely because one component of performing that role was lessening over time.

"I think the culmination of it was the firing of Minister Nene," he said.

Jonas also said Treasury was dependent on the support of the president and was undermined by some departments, which circumvented processes that required them to go through Treasury.

Meanwhile, commission chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said the commission would do its job properly.

"I need to say this to [the] legal team and investigations must leave no stones unturned. It doesn't matter who you are, if the evidence points towards you, you must be followed. It doesn't matter what your position is or may have been.

"I have assembled a strong legal team, people who have a track record of integrity. They won't start doing dirty things. I have a team of investigators whose leaders I trust, and they know exactly what is expected of them.

"No attempt must be made to try and implicate someone who is not involved, but there must be no attempt to get someone where evidence suggests that person is implicated," Zondo warned.

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Read more on:    hawks  |  mcebisi jonas  |  guptas  |  state capture inquiry  |  state capture

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