Of insults and inquiries

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Advocate Dali Mpofu
Advocate Dali Mpofu
PHOTO: Papi Morake/Gallo Images

"Yhooo."

This is now an official quote on the record of the state capture inquiry, uttered in shock this week by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan after Advocate Dali Mpofu told his legal representative at the commission to "shut up".

"I have never heard any lawyer in any court proceedings or in any commission or forum tell another lawyer to shut up – or a witness," Justice Raymond Zondo admonished him the following day. The deputy chief justice has until now managed to keep the commission's proceedings relatively calm and dignified. But the wheels are starting to come off and Mpofu's outburst is the least of Zondo's problems.

After months of playing chicken with Jacob Zuma over his appearance, the commission was left with no choice this week but to ask the Constitutional Court to punish the former President with jailtime for his insubordination. If you haven't heard Advocate Thembeka Ngcukaitobi's brilliant and articulate arguments before the court in this matter, read about it here.

Zuma naturally responded by issuing an eight-page statement riddled with sensational claims against Zondo, the Constitutional Court, the judiciary and acting Constitutional Court Justice Dhaya Pillay. It was an assault not only on the individuals and the judiciary but on the very fibre of our democracy. We now wait with bated breath for the court to make a ruling.

In the meantime, for something more encouraging, read Fin24's interview with Discovery CEO Adrian Gore on why now is the perfect time to invest in South Africa and Arts24's interview with the eponymous arts photographer Roger Ballen.

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